GLIAS

GREATER LONDON INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY SOCIETY

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Book reviews — October 1982

STEVENSON & HOWELL A FIRM OF FLAVOUR AND FRAGRANCE
20pp + 3pp photographs Obtainable at GLIAS lectures, LAMAS Conference or direct from Tom Smith, 74 Lord Warwick Street SE18 5QD (please include 30p for postage & packing)
Another GLIAS booklets this one detailing the history and operation of Stevenson & Howell, essence manufacturers of Southwark. Essences are extracted from fruit & plants and used for flavouring food and drink and perfuming toiletries. Established in 1882, the firm prospered largely due to the development of the aerated soft drink industry and soon had worldwide outlets. The company traded until 1973 when following a takeover it was closed.

In 1974 the site was surveyed and recorded the resulting report is a model of what can be achieved even when most of the machinery has been removed. The booklet relies on secondary sources, but provides a well-researched and interesting account of the development of a late Victorian business and the associated manufacturing processes of, as far as I am aware, an unrecorded and little known industry. The booklet is illustrated with letterheadings, product labels and advertisements - one being particularly noteworthy was for a foaming agent which gave a "thick close white creamy head" to mainly ginger beer. Was this also supplied to a well-known London brewer? Some human interest is missing, possibly no previous employees could be traced, but it is excellent value for only 40p to members. John Blackwell


© GLIAS, 1982