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British Industrial History

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Brooke, Simpson and Spiller

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of 9 Fenchurch St, London

of Hackney Wick

of Greenford Green

of 50 Old Broad St., London (1877)

Patentees and manufacturers of aniline dyes - successors of one of the first British firms to manufacture synthetic (coal-tar) dyes.

1868 Nicholson and Maule retired from Simpson, Maule and Nicholson and the firm was sold to Edward Brooke (a manufacturing chemist from Manchester), another partner being William Spiller (c.1836-1926) who had been the firm's chemist. His brother John Spiller (1833-1921) joined the firm as consulting chemist from this date.[1]

The firm then became known as Brooke, Simpson & Spiller

1872 Edward Brooke was nominated for the position of Sheriff of the City of London[2]

1874 Acquired the Greenford Works of Perkin and Sons[3], which Perkin sold in the face of continuing competition in synthetic alizarin.

They failed to make alizarin a successful business.

1875 Appointed Raphael Mendola to the colour works at Hackney Wick[4]

1876 Sold to Burt, Boulton and Haywood the dyestuffs works at Greenford Green where alizarin manufacture had originally been developed by W. H. Perkin. Burt transferred the manufacture of alizarin to Silvertown.

Brooke, Simpson & Spiller continued in business at their Atlas works, though less successfully than before, perhaps because of the withdrawal of Nicholson as director or of A. W. Hofmann as consultant, but they continued to employ some very able chemists, including A. G. Green, R. Meldola and E. Hickson.

From 1878 the firm was joined by W. S. Simpson (1856-1941), a nephew of G. Simpson.

1878 Exhibited Dyes, colouring matters, and other productions from coal tar at the 1878 Paris International Exhibition[5]

1885 Gold medal at the Inventions Exhibition for improvements in the manufacture of coal tar colours[6]

1886 The business was converted into a public company

1886 Public quotation of the company's shares[7]

c.1888 John Spiller retired

1903 Company taken out of liquidation[8]

1903 W. S. Simpson left and formed his own British Aniline Dye and Chemical Works Ltd.

1905 Company liquidated. The Atlas works were acquired by Claus and Ree

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Biography of John Spiller, ODNB
  2. The Times, May 15, 1872
  3. The Times, Mar 26, 1915
  4. The Times, Nov 17, 1915
  5. London Gazette 18 December 1877
  6. The Times, Aug 13, 1885
  7. The Times, Jun 17, 1886
  8. The Times, Mar 16, 1903
  • Archives of the British chemical industry, 1750-1914: a handlist. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Edited by John Graham Smith. 1988.