Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Allhusen Works

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Allhusen Works, soap and alkali manufacturer, of Gateshead

1840 Christian Augustus Henry Allhusen (1806–1890) entered the Tyneside chemical industry at Gateshead by purchasing the soap works of Charles Attwood and Co, otherwise known as the Tyne Chemical Works. This became Allhusen, Turner and Co. Allhusen was not a chemist but adopted innovatory methods and used commercial skill to promote his products.

Allhusen developed a method of heating the feed materials indirectly in the furnace; the gases from both the pan and dryer passed into one condenser where hydrochloric acid was extracted without becoming mixed with the smoke from the fire; the process operated at a lower temperature than the conventional process for making the acid, so the product was more easily condensed[1]

1846 Company name changed to C. Allhusen and Co

Name later changed to C. Allhusen and Sons

1862 Allhusen began drilling for salt on Teesside to manufacture alkali by the Leblanc process. However, this also benefited the rival Solvay process, then expanding on the Tees, and so in practice hastened the decline of the Tyneside industry.

1872 Became limited liability company, the Newcastle Chemical Works Co[2]. This public company was established to take over the business of the privately owned C. Allhusen and Sons which would be dissolved[3].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1863/09/25
  2. The Times, 15 January 1872
  3. The Morning Post 12 January 1872
  • Biography of Christian Augustus Henry Allhusen, ODNB [1]