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Sunday, 9 August 2009

Mr./ Richards again

As Richards' work on sulphate was ended 'Mr. Boogg of Furnival's Inn' was sent '15-20 casks of ammoniacal liquor'. Everard, in his History of the Gas Light and Coke Company, suggested that Mr.Boogg was a new contractor, but he is not listed in relevant directories for Furnival's Inn although, perhaps 'Boogg' is a mis‑spelling. It does, however, seems unlikely that chemical manufacture would take place in this medieval Inn of Chancery

Despite the apparent cancellation of contract, David Richards continued to buy liquor from the Chartered. In July 1817 he was told that he could not have more than 2,000 gallons a week, later he could have as much as he liked 'as long as he pays for it first'. Throughout Richards' dealings with the Chartered Company there is a suggestion of unsteady finances. In 1818 they 'decided to delay any proceedings against him providing he pays 4/‑a butt' plus 'arrears at 2d. a week'.

Richards also agreed with the City of London Gas Company to take all the 'volatile liquor for six months at 2s 2d a gallon (beer measure)'. They allowed him to pay 'by bill of 3 months'. By that time he must have been making sulphate of ammonia independently - probably in Fieldgate Street.


SULPHATE OF AMMONIA

The Chartered Company had apparently given up manufacture of sulphate of ammonia for themselves. Nevertheless an ammonia salt had been found which was easy to make and which seemed to be useful - ironically it was the one, which no one had thought about before 1810. In the course of experimentation the gas industry had secured the attention of one of the foremost manufacturing chemists of the day. It was the first intimation that these new gas works might produce something of interest to outside industry.


..... AND OTHER SALTS

The Chartered Company recorded very little about the manufacture of ammonia salts, apart from sulphate of ammonia. There is no indication why other salts were not made. A clue might come from a minute that records a purchase of sal ammoniac from the large Bermondsey manufacturing chemist, Brandram. Perhaps other manufacturers of this salt would have been hostile to a competitor.

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