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Home > Companies & Works > Scottish Oil Companies > Young's Paraffin Light &Mineral Oil Co. Ltd.

Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co. Ltd.

Constitution Limited Company
Company Number. Registered in Scotland, No.00221
Share Capital. £600,000
Date of Incorporation 4th January 1866
Date of Dissolution an ongoing concern as a subsidiary of BP
Registered Office 7 West George Street, Glasgow and 53 Bothwell Street, Glasgow
Oil Works Bathgate Chemical Works
Addiewell Oil Works
Uphall Oil Works
Hopetoun Oil Works

One of the earliest, largest, and certainly the most famous of the Scottish shale oil companies. In 1864, James Young bought out his partners interests on the oil business based at Bathgate chemical works, and set about construction of new works at Addiewell exploiting the rich oil shales found in the West Calder area. Before the massive complex of mines, crude oil works, refinery and workshops at Addiewell were complete, Young promoted a public company to take the enterprise forward.

Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Company Ltd was one of the largest public companies floated to that date and had the advantages of two manufacturing bases, a national network of sales offices, and the wide public recognition of the Young's brand. James Young chaired the new company, and continued to do so until retirement in 1870.

As the most accessible shale supplies in the West Calder district became depleted, the company secured its future by extending its interests in the eastern part of the shalefield, acquiring mineral rights at Newliston, and in 1884 merging with the Uphall Oil Co. Ltd.

Despite its initial ambitions, the company struggled in its early years, some commentators attributing this to a burden of debt arising from the £400,000 paid to James Young to purchase his interest in the business.. Latterly the company was often compared to a lumbering giant, returning a solid performance but never providing investors with the returns offered by the younger, more dynamic shale oil companies.



General Managers


Information is patchy until 1884:



Sales office (as listed in Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland for 1878)


Seal, Trademarks and Letterheads



Information is patchy until 1884:





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