Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,441 pages of information and 233,877 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Isaac Reckitt

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1792 Isaac Reckitt was born, the fifth of thirteen children.

He established two businesses, both of which had failed.

1840 He borrowed money from his relatives and with it rented (then purchased eight years later) a starch factory in Hull. His first business card simply read "Isaac Reckitt Starch Manufacturer - late Middleton" for he had purchased the business from Charles Middleton. The business was to become Reckitt and Colman.

The factory was situated in Dansom Lane, still the location of the company's U.K. pharmaceuticals factory and its main U.K. office.

There was no development in the business until his four sons became old enough to help. From this point on the business was known as Reckitt and Sons.

Isaac's son, Frederick, become the company's first chemist and another son, George, its first salesman.

1862 Isaac died

After Isaac's death, James Reckitt and two of his brothers carried on their father's business as a partnership.

Isaac's sons George Reckitt and his two younger brothers, Francis and James (later Sir James) Reckitt, inherited the business. George realized his share after a disagreement and went into insurance, a venture that failed, and returned to the company as manager of the London office by 1870. One of his son's was Albert Leopold Reckitt who also went into the London office and eventually became chairman of Reckitt and Colman.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Hullwebs
  • 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
  • Biography of Albert Leopold Reckitt [2] and Sir James Reckitt [3]