Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Brotherton and Co

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December 1910. Solvene.
January 1911.
August 1912.
August 1912.
August 1912.

of City Chambers, Leeds, Yorks. Telephone: Leeds 20024 (5 lines). Cables: "Brotherton, Leeds". (1929)

Ditto Address and Cables. Telephone: Leeds 29321. (1947)

1878 Edward Allen Brotherton became a partner in the firm of Dyson Bros. and Brotherton, based in Wakefield, manufacturer of ammonium sulphate. The firm was not technically innovative, aiming rather to exploit the large supplies of ammoniacal liquor produced in the coal-gas industry. It was served by an extensive transportation network, which moved the ammoniacal liquor from gasworks in the surrounding towns to Wakefield, where it was processed on a large scale.

1870s Brotherton secured the contract to supply Brunner, Mond and Co with ammonia for their Solvay plant making sodium carbonate, which was growing very rapidly.

Established other factories, on a similar basis to the one at Wakefield, in several major conurbations.

1881 Dyson Bros. and Brotherton became Brotherton and Co.

Developed other opportunities for the sale of ammonia, supplying the textile industry and becoming associated with the Cassel Cyanide Co.

1902 Became a limited company; said to be the largest private chemical company in the country.

Expanded into coal-tar distillation, and the treatment of its organic by-products.

WWI Manufactured a range of primary and secondary coal-tar products - pitch, creosote, naphthalene, anthracene, TNT, and picric acid (an important explosive).

Purchased the Mersey Chemical Co., which had been German-owned, and extended the company's interests into the production of both inorganic materials (sulphur dioxide and oleum) and synthetic dyestuffs.

1924 On the death of Sir George Beilby, Brotherton became chairman of Cassels.

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Ammonia Liquor (all strengths), Carbonate and Bicarbonate of Ammonia, Coal Tar Products, Dyestuffs and Intermediates, Liquid SO₂, Sodium Bisulphate, Sodium Hydrosulphite and its derivatives, Formosul, Zinc Formosul, Leucotropes. (Stand No. K.69) [1]

1930 Death of Edward Brotherton

1936 Hydrosulphates for the textile industry. [2]

1947 British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of Ammonia, Chemicals and Dyestuffs including: Sodium Hydrosulphite, Formosul, zinc Formosul, Redusol, Laundros. Sulphur dioxide. Leucotropes, Metachrone, Direct and Acid Dyestuffs. Ammonia Liquor. Ammonium Carbonate, Bicarbonate. Sodium Sulphite, Bisulphite, Metabisulphite, Hexamine, Sulphuric Acid, Coal Tar Products. (Chemicals Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1253) [3]

1956 Brotherton House was opened as the head office.

1957 British Chrome and Chemicals acquired Brotherton and Co[4]

1963 The premises were bought by Leeds City Council for use by the police.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1929 British Industries Fair p31
  2. The Textile Manufacturer Year Book 1936. Published by Emmott and Co. Advert on p22
  3. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 3; and p47
  4. The Times Oct 25, 1957
  • [1] Secret Leeds
  • Biography of Edward Allen Brotherton, ODNB