Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Graesser

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of Ruabon, tar distiller, manufacturer of phenol and shale distillates.

1867 The chemical site was founded by Thomas Graesser.
OR
1867 Robert Ferdinand Graesser set up in business with Timothy Crowther at the Plaskynaston works, Acrefair, nr Ruabon.

1871 Dissolution of the Partnership between Timothy Crowther and Robert Graesser, lately carrying on business at Plaskynaston, near Ruabon, in the county of Denbigh, as Chemical Manufacturers. All debts due to and owing from the said partnership will be received and paid by Mr. John Augustus Bouck, Chemical Manufacturer, Miles Platting, near Manchester.[1]

The Plaskynaston works were given up.

Graesser continued on his own at another site. The main business at first was shale oil distillation for the production of paraffin oil and paraffin wax.

1880 Graesser switched to the production of phenol by distillation of tar acids.

1884 Robert Graesser was manufacturing carbolic acid at Ruabon and selling it as far afield as London[2]

c 1890 Graesser acquired Corbett and Co. and hence regained the Plaskynaston works.

1911 Robert Graesser died; the business was continued by his son, Norman H. Graesser.

1916 Became a limited company, R. Graesser Ltd.

1918 Robert Graesser, manufacturing chemist, near Ruabon, made carbolic acid, picric acid, aurine[3]

The Monsanto Group operated a number of facilities throughout the UK from 1919, when the company entered into partnership with R. A. Graesser's chemical works in Ruabon, Wales forming Graesser-Monsanto Chemical Works.

1928 Monsanto took full ownership of Graesser-Monsanto Chemical Works.

The Ruabon works remained an important section of Monsanto's European operations.


1926 New company set up as R. Graesser (1926) Ltd

1934 The company was wound up by Norman Graesser[4]

1935 Norman Graesser resumed tar acid distilling under the old name of R. Graesser, at Sandycroft, Chester.

1945 This new firm became a limited company

Soon after became a subsidiary of Lancashire Tar Distillers Ltd.

1971 The Sandycroft works of R. Graesser Ltd were closed.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette 14 April 1871
  2. Business Directory of London, 1884. [Part 2: Classified Section and Provincial & Foreign Register]
  3. Trades' Directory of Wales (North and South), 1918
  4. The London Gazette 23 February 1934
  • 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.