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Home > Beyond Scotland > Wales and vicinity > Dee Oil Co.

Dee Oil Co.

Constitution Co-partnership
Date of Formation variously quoted as 1865 or 1869
Date of Dissolution 1888 following formation of the Dee Oil Co. Ltd.
Registered Office Dee Oil and Candle Works
Offices in London, Liverpool, Manchester,Barrow-in-Furnace, Hull, Cardiff, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Paris
Property Dee Oil & Candle Works

A substantial private business that specialised in the production of lubricants and wax products. Local coal oil may have been used in the early days of the business, but most production was based on imported American petroleum. Their Dee Oil Works at Saltney were constructed adjacent to St. David's Oil Works and subsequently incorporated much of that site.

The firm was floated as a public company in 1888 in response to financial difficulties, with William Deeley taking a major shareholding and a place on the board. The enquiry into the collapse of the company in 1891 revealed a tale of hidden debts, misrepresentation and other skullduggery.



dee oil products




At a time when the attention of the commercial world is turned to the development of the oil springs of the East, it may interest our readers to learn that it was due to the enterprise and inventive skill of a North Wales firm, established many years ago, that the complete utilisation of natural and oils, with all their numerous bye products, was attained, and it is not too much to say that through their enterprise, after a long fight with old-fashioned prejudices, they have succeeded in revolutionising the lubricating oil trade of this country.

We refer to the Dee Oil Company, whose Cardiff house is under the direction of our townsman Mr. H. W. Dodd. The extensive works situated on the river Dee have been associated from their commencement and with most important events of industrial progress. About a quarter of a century ago curley cannel coal found on the borders of Cheshire was used for the manufacture of paraffin oil, and a great prospect was opened for that trade. This prospect, however, was of a very brief character, for the American importations of petroleum put the North Wales oil manufacturers completely out of the market.

At this period attention was attracted to the residuum of the petroleum after the illuminating oil had been extracted, and in the year 1865 the Dee Oil Company started the manufacture of high-class lubricating oils from this residuum. The success of the undertaking was very great, and an industry was established which has since become one of immense commercial importance.

From the first, the Dee Oil Company, which is not " limited," but is a private firm, have hold a high reputation for the production of the purest and heaviest-bodied hydro-carbon oils in the market. The remarkable lubricating properties of the oils they manufactured, and their perfect purity, quickly rendered them popular as amongst users of machinery of all classes, as well as the mill owners of Lancashire and Yorkshire, who require oils of lower viscosity, but real purity and freedom from "' gumminess," as with steamship companies, who, both for internal lubrication of cylinders and the lubrication of heavy bearings, require oils of the highest viscosity and utmost possible lubricating powers.

The works are now the largest in the United Kingdom for the manufacture of lubricating oils, their capacity being over 1,000 tons per month of crude material which is imported in cargoes of 6 to 8,000 barrels. Without entering into details of the process of manufacture and refining (interesting only to chemists), we may just say that this is carried on by the most modern and best approved systems and appliances, and that this company are also extensive manufacturers of candles from the paraffin wax extracted during the process of refining the oil.

As it is often found advisable, and even necessary, to use a mixture of hydrocarbon and fatty oils for lubricating heavy bearings, the company are considerable importers of these oils, which are refined and treated before use in a special department of the works, the Our Yankee cousins have tried tempting away their men and all other means to get at the secrets of the excellence of their manufactures, but in vain, and whatever discoveries may be by made or new developments be shown in this most important industry, the Dee Oil Company may be expected to lead the way in the future as they have done in the past.

The Western Mail 19th August 1886









































































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