Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Britannia Works Co

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December 1900.

of Ilford, London E (1900), maker of Ilford Bromide Paper

By 1863 Alfred Harman was advertising his photographic printing service.

1864 Harman set up in business in Peckham, South London, as Alfred Harman and Co

1878 He patented his idea for "producing enlarged photographs with artistic finish".

1879 Alfred Hugh Harman began making Gelatine Dry Plates in the basement of his house in Cranbrook Road, Ilford, Essex. His business was named 'Britannia Works'.

1880 Harman moved to Roden Street, trading as the Britannia Works Company.

1883 A factory was built as the company's sales expanded.

1886 Britannia Works became Britannia Works Co.

1890 'The Ilford Manual of Photography', originally 'The Manual of Photography', was published by the Britannia Works Co. It continued until the 5th edition in 1958.

1891 The still private company was registered as Britannia Works Co Ltd in December. Kodak began manufacturing in Harrow, Middlesex - future competitors to the Britannia Works Co.

1894 Alfred Harman retired and was succeeded as managing director by E. B. Knobel, a distant relative, whom he had taken on as a director the previous year.

1897 and again in 1903, Eastman Kodak approached the company with a view to a take-over or an amalgamation, but was unsuccessful.

1898 In September, 'Britannia Works Co Ltd' ceased to exist and the public 'Britannia Works Co (1898) Ltd' was formed. The reference to 1898 in the company title was soon dropped. Alfred Harman retired, aged 50, from active control of the company, but continued as a consultant for many years. The company was registered on 17 May, as the Britannia Works Co, to take over the business of a company of the same name, registered manufacturers of the Ilford photographic plates. [1]

1900 The company applied to change their name to Ilford Ltd, but Ilford Urban District Council objected. The name was changed from Britannia Works Co to Ilford Ltd.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  • [1] Ilford History and Chronology
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5