CHEMICALS FROM COAL
A HISTORY OF BECKTON PRODUCTS WORKS

Cyril Arthur Townsend M.Sc. Ph.D.

Northwich, Cheshire, 2003

This history is dedicated to the memory of my Grandfather,

 Abe Smith,

Tar Stillman at Beckton Products Works from 1880 to 1933

 

This version was prepared for the Web by D.H.W. Hayton of GLIAS November 2003



Contents

PREFACE

PART 1 – INTRODUCTION

1. COAL TAR BEFORE THE INVENTION OF COAL GAS

2. COAL GAS AND THE GAS LIGHT & COKE COMPANY 

3. THE FIRST BY-PRODUCTS FROM GAS MANUFACTURE

4. THE GAS LIGHT & COKE CO AND ITS CHEMICAL BY-PRODUCTS

PART 2 – BECKTON PRODUCTS WORKS 1879 - 1970

5. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE WORKS

6. THE FORMATIVE YEARS

7. THOMAS WILTON AND THE BECKTON RANGERS

8. THE FIRST WORLD WAR

9. BETWEEN THE WARS – EXPANSION AND MODERNISATION

10. THE SECOND WORLD WAR

11. THE POST WAR YEARS – REGENERATION AND NATIONALISATION

12. DECLINE AND CLOSURE

PART 3 – ANCILLARY MATTERS

13. TRANSPORT SYSTEMS

14. EMPLOYMENT, WELFARE AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

15. PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES

APPENDIX I EAST LONDON TAR DISTILLERS

APPENDIX II PURCHASERS OF GAS LIQUOR AND AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS FROM THE GLCC

APPENDIX III EAST LONDON SULPHURIC ACID MANUFACTURERS

BIBLIOGRAPHY

TABLES 1&2 PRODUCTION STATISTICS

WORKS PLANS

CHART PRODUCTS OBTAINABLE FROM COAL