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.
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).
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.
The collection was acquired with The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in January 1988.
ACCESS: Advance notice is essential for access to the collection; restrictions apply to some series and uncatalogued elements.
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