British Dyestuffs Corporation

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British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd
Industry Chemicals
Founded1919;104 years ago (1919)
Defunct1926;97 years ago (1926)
Fatemerged into Imperial Chemical Industries
Headquarters Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Products dyes

British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd (BDC) was a British company formed in 1919 from the merger of British Dyes Ltd with Levinstein Ltd. [1] The British Government was the company's largest shareholder, and had two directors on the board.



By 1913, the Germans had provided 80% of the dyes used in Britain. Even the 20% that was produced in the US was mainly reliant on German intermediates. Stocks of dyes and intermediates were exhausted when World War I broke out in 1914, putting the textile industry in jeopardy. This situation was criticised in particular by Ivan Levinstein. [2] [3]

In July 1915, British Dyes, Ltd., was created and bought Read Holliday & Sons of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. In 1919, Levinsteins merged with British Dyes, which became the country's largest dyemaker and was renamed the British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd. [2] Sir Joseph Turner and Dr. Herbert Levinstein became the joint managing directors of BDC. [2] The new company controlled 75% of the entire dye production in Britain, its capitalization was £10 million. [3]

BDC supplied a comprehensive range of dyes within a competitive market. Its most notable foreign competitors were Allied Dye & Chemical, Du Pont, and IG Farben. In 1920, BDC produced 16,000 tons, however the dyes range was smaller than before the World War I (500 compared with 2,000). [4]

It became one of the four British chemical companies which merged in 1926 with Brunner Mond, Nobel Explosives, and United Alkali Company to form Imperial Chemical Industries. [5] That year, BDC developed and patented a process for the prevention of mildew in textile fabrics by the use of halogenated phenols. [4] The decision to become part of it was made in the face of the threat posed after the establishment of IG Farben, which threatened to dominate the European market. [2]

The company had manufacturing sites at Dalton, Huddersfield, Blackley, Manchester, and Ardeer, North Ayrshire.

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  1. Colorants History [Usurped!]
  2. 1 2 3 4 "British Dyes Ltd./British Dyestuffs Corporation Ltd. - ICI Dyestuffs Division and predecessor companies archive - Archives Hub". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  3. 1 2 "British Dyestuffs Corporation and ICI". Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  4. 1 2 "British Dyestuffs Corporation". Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  5. "British Dyestuffs Corporation Limited | Science Museum Group Collection". Retrieved 14 June 2021.