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Book reviews — June 1989

ARCHIVES OF THE BRITISH CHEMICAL INDUSTRY 1750-1914. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Contributing Editor John Graham-Smith
Published by the British Society for the History of Science
The Industrial Archaeology of the London chemical industry has hardly been examined — despite the number of known sites. Indeed it would be easy to think that no such industry existed for most literature on chemical industry history concentrates on the north of England and Scotland.

Although this north/south balance will not be easily redressed research on London Chemicals will be made easier by the publication 'Archives of the British Chemical Industry 1750-1914' produced by members of the Department of the History of Science at the Open University. Although London is still under-represented in this volume it is nevertheless, an excellent guide to where the archives of many companies can be found. Entries are under company name with a brief history of the concern, a bibliography and a description of the archive deposits. There is a general bibliography and indexes of archive addresses, personal names, place names and addresses of companies.

The volume should prove an excellent tool to the researcher. Sites can range from the large Lawes works at Barking Creek for which a complete set of records exist to sites like Hills at East Greenwich for which there is only one short entry. Many more London works existed which, are not listed — and proposed building on many of these sites should give a spur to research. MARY MILLS

The Kew Bridge Steam Museum has bought the last few copies of this book. If any GLIAS members would like a copy please send a cheque for £10.95 plus £1.00 post and packing to: Paul Phillips, c/o Kew Bridge Steam Museum, 1 Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, Middlesex. Cheques should be made payable to Historic Steam Limited. LESLEY WITHERS

Kewdale Press, 1908. pp 260. £36.00. (25% discount for all private orders — is £27.00 including postage and packing from Kewdale Press, 2 Partridge Piece, Cranfield, Beds. MK43 OBP)
This is the third such book in the series, the others dealing with Northern England and the East Midlands. Whilst these first two were paperbacks, the London volume is a hardback, unnecessarily increasing the cost of the book. There is a list of bibliographies consulted and periodicals cited (including the GLIAS Journal — London's Industrial Archaeology — but not the Newsletter), followed by listings under the main headings of Agriculture and Food Supply, Guilds and Companies, Industries, Posts and Communications, Public Utilities and Transport. The book concludes with Author and Subject Indexes. The section on Industries is sub-divided into a variety of manufacturing and trade categories, any not picked up being grouped under 'Other Trades'. Thus the 'Laundry Trade' gains two entries (including the GLIAS publication on Walton Lodge), but Perfume and Soap Manufacture has four entries under 'Other Trades'. Coverage is uneven. 'Printing and Publishing' gets nearly six pages of general entries plus 21 pages of 'Firms and Individuals', three pages of 'Newspapers' and six and a half pages of 'Individual Newspapers and Journals'. The classification of subjects is not simple and there is no cress-referencing. The index is not easy to use.

Several GLIAS members are among the authors listed, although some have been given the wrong initials, GLIAS Newsletter articles are not listed, nor are those in the 'Miscellany' but some Newsletter (not all) Supplements are listed, as are our earlier reports on single sites.

GLIAS members will no doubt find this a useful work but should not regard it as comprehensive. In view of its price most will consider it a book to consult in the library. TIM SMITH

© GLIAS, 1989