Papers of Dr Georg Tugendhat, industrialist and economist, concerning the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and related interests, 1936-1964


Reference and contact details: GB 0159 Tg
Title: Papers of Dr Georg Tugendhat, industrialist and economist, concerning the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and related interests, 1936-1964
Dates of creation: 1936-1964
Held at: The University of Nottingham Dept. of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Hallward Library
Extent: 53 boxes
Name of Creator: Dr Georg Tugendhat
Level of Description: Fonds
Language of Material: eng


Administrative/Biographical History

Dr Georg Tugendhat was born on 17 February 1898 the son of Samuel and Gabriele Tugendhat of Vienna. He was educated at Vienna University (LLD) and the London School of Economics (MSc). He was made a lieutenant of the Austrian Imperial Army during World War One and then arrived in England in 1921 where he became London representative of Neue Freie Presse of Vienna and Deutscher Wolkswirt of Berlin. After a spell as Acting Financial Advisor to the Austrian Legation in London he became London representative of Reichskredit Gesellschaft AG of Berlin between 1930 and 1933. He was a governor and honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, a fellow of the Royal Economic Society, and a member of the Association Francaise des Techniciens du Pétrole. Tugendhat married Marie Littledale in 1934. He died on 6 April 1973.

Manchester Oil Refinery Limited at Trafford Park, Manchester was founded in December 1936 by Dr Georg Tugendhat and Dr Franz Kind. Tugendhat provided the knowledge of industry and economics while Kind contributed ten years experience of the oil and chemical industry. They set up independently owned oil refineries in Antwerp, Trieste and Manchester, capitalising on new developments in refining techniques and well chosen locations to compete against the major oil companies whose refineries were part of an integrated structure. The Antwerp refinery was built as a distillation unit, Trieste as a complete refinery, and Manchester for the production of lubricating oils and transformer oils etc.

Manchester Oil Refinery Limited was a pioneer for the Catrole refining process in Britain, a process that was invented by Prof. Charles Weizmann and Dr Ernest Bergmann. This led, in 1945, to the incorporation of a special design and development company, Petrocarbon Ltd. A third company, Petrochemicals Ltd, was set up to operate the new Catrole plant. Construction of the plant began in 1948 on a 120 acre site alongside the Manchester Ship Canal and Partington Gas Works. The plant went on stream in 1952 but the Petrochemicals project was hit by a slump in the market for some chemicals, spiralling construction costs, and difficulties in training operatives to work the plant.

Tugendhat and Kind retired from their positions as managing directors of Petrochemicals Ltd, and the company was sold to Shell in 1955. Tugendhat remained managing director of Manchester Oil Refinery (Holdings) Ltd, and Petrocarbon Ltd continued as an independent firm as Petrocarbon Developments Ltd.

Scope and Content

The collection, which is very largely concerned with the development and work of the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and related interests, contains private and business correspondence of Dr Georg Tugendhat with individuals and various bodies including government departments, 1936-1964 (Tg C). There is also a series of correspondence and reports relating to the Second World War and its impact on industry, 1938-1941 (Tg Cx).

System of Arrangement

The collection has retained the filing system evident in some series on accession. The accessions had however been disturbed and have been arranged into series. Within these series items have been arranged alphabetically or chronologically.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

The collection was acquired with The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in January 1988.

Access Conditions

ACCESS: Advance notice is essential for access to the collection; restrictions apply to some series and uncatalogued elements.

LANGUAGE: English

Copyright/Reproduction

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk). The Department will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but this can be difficult and the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the person wishing to publish.

Further Information

Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • This description is the only finding aid publicly available for the collection although a box listing is available in the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections and an inventory of correspondents has been prepared. Copyright on all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Related Units of Description

  • Burmah Castrol Archives: Records of the Manchester Oil Refinery (Holdings) Ltd, 1930-1979.
  • Manchester University: John Rylands Library: Letters of Georg Tugendhat to the Manchester Guardian, 1945-1956. Guardian Archives
  • London School of Economics; British Library of Economic and Political Science: Letters from Georg Tugendhat to 1st Baron Piercy, 1948-1964. Piercy

Associated Material

Publication Note

Dr. Georg Tugendhat, 'Development of Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and Petrochemicals Limited' in R.S. Edwards and H. Townsend (eds.), Business Enterprise: its growth and organisation (Macmillan: London, 1965)