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British Industrial History

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London Research Station

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In the early 1920s David Milne-Watson recognised the value of research work and fostered its development by the setting up of research laboratories. Work had started at Horseferry Road, the predecessor to Watson House, and plans were made to build a central laboratory at Fulham Gas Works of Gas Light and Coke Co

1927 'The Fulham Laboratories', otherwise known as the 1927 building or the No.1 Laboratory, was opened. Research work focused on the production and purification of gas and its by-products.

Eventually the No.1, 2 and 3 laboratories were housed in the 1927 building.

Staff at the London Station liaised with all the laboratories at the individual works, making it easy to conduct field studies; much work was done 'on location' at various sites.

WWII Work responded to the immediate needs, which often meant dealing with distribution and supply problems caused by damage to the mains. Also Fulham helped with detection of unexploded bombs, efficient extraction of Benzole and fog dispersal using coke braziers.

Post-WWII: the work of the Fulham laboratories was divided into four streams:

  • Catalytic work
  • Removal of H2S from gas
  • By-products
  • Miscellaneous.

1948 An extra building known as No.4 Laboratory was constructed for pilot plant work.

1949 No.5 laboratory was established in an inherited building on the wharf for large scale development work.

The research facilities at Watson House] and those at the Fulham Laboratory were brought under a single controller, Harold Hollings. This included the physical transfer of the Coke Laboratory, which concentrated on coke appliance research, which was brought under the Manager, Watson House, William Dieterichs.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] National Archives