Bryant and May Factory

I wandered in to the old Bryant and May match factory, scene of the strike in 1888 and subject of an essay by Patrick Wright in A Journey Through Ruins.   Wiĺliam Bryant and Francis May started importing Swedish matches in 1850.   In 1855 they acquired a patent to manufacture safety matches from red phosphorus and potassium chlorate and in 1861 they opened the Fairfield Works, a massive factory, rather German in character with its red and black brick.   The workers were first radicalised in 1871 in protest at the planned imposition of a tax on matches and again went on strike in 1888 led by the theosophist Annie Besant.   It’s all quiet now after being converted into apartments in 1987:-

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6 thoughts on “Bryant and May Factory

  1. William Griffin says:

    Potassium chlorate, not potassium, the latter being a metallic element which ignites spontaneously upon coming into contact with water.

  2. Jocelyn says:

    I appreciate how you share your walks with your readers. Your photographs prompt me to look into the areas and/or streets via Google maps street view for long views of the buildings you photograph and, in this case and the church on Bow Road, lets me see what London has done with regards to urban planning.

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