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John Tennant

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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John Tennant

John Tennant (1796-1878) was a chemical manufacturer.

Tennant began work at his father's chemical works at St Rollox aged nineteen, became a partner with his brother Charles soon afterwards, and general manager and senior partner in Charles Tennant & Co after his father's death in 1838. The factory was Britain's largest alkali works from the 1820s until the early 1870s. Tennant was responsible for erecting the (in)famous Tennant's Stalk, a 435 feet high chimney to disperse the noxious fumes created in the process of manufacturing alkalis, bleaching powders and other chemical products. The stalk succeeded in spreading pollution across a large area of central Scotland.

Among his other business interests, Tennant was a founder of the Tharsis Sulphur and Copper Co, held a large portfolio of railway shares, and was one of the original shareholders in the Steel Company of Scotland. A Liberal, he was one of the group known as the "Glasgow Whigs".

Reference: Mitchell Library, 920.04BAI

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

alkalis, bleaches, Charles Tennant & Co, chemical manufacturers, chemical works, Glasgow Whigs, Liberals, Steel Company of Scotland, Tennant's Stalk, Tharsis Sulphur and Copper Co

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