Document ReferenceTg
TitlePapers of Dr Georg Tugendhat, industrialist and economist, concerning the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and related interests, 1929-1964
Extent53 boxes
AbstractThe collection comprises private and business papers of Dr Georg Tugendhat (1898-1973) relating to the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited.
Access ConditionsPending full cataloguing, access is limited and is possible only by advance notice and agreement. Additional restrictions apply to some series. Please contact us for further advice.
Admin HistoryDr 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. In 1921 he came to England and 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 P├ętrole. 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.

Manchester Oil Refinery Limited (MOR) was a pioneer for the Catarole refining process in Britain, a process that was invented by Professor Chaim Weizmann and Dr Ernst Bergmann and developed by MOR from 1940 onwards. It involved catalytic cracking to convert petroleum distillates (naphtha, kerosene, gas oil) into a liquid product containing aromatic hydrocarbons and gases rich in olefins without the impurities present in other techniques. 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 Catarole 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.

Problems within the group led to internal disagreements and internal re-organization took place. Dr Tugendhat resigned from the Board of Petrochemicals in June 1952 and Petrocarbon went into voluntary liquidation. Dr Tugendhat maintained his interest in MOR Holdings Limited and extended his business interests to Emulsion Printing Limited (formally F W Farmiloe Limited) which was incorporated on 27th September 1954. Petrochemicals Ltd, 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.
Custodial HistoryThe collection was acquired by The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in January 1988. Further material was received in 1993 and 2011.
DescriptionThe collection is very largely concerned with the development and work of the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited and related industrial interests.

Papers relating to the Catarole Process and Plant illustrate the Catarole process itself, the planning behind the location, construction and financing of the business as well as reports, memoranda and correspondence, 1940-1952 (Tg Bc).

A few official papers relate to Emulsion Printing Limited (formerly F.W. Farmiloe Ltd.), a company linked to the Manchester Oil Refinery, 1953-1958 (Tg Be).

The bulk of the papers relating to the Manchester Oil Refinery itself consist of proposals to build and finance the refinery, acquisition of the land for the plant, technical reports, patents and correspondence, 1936-1958 (Tg Bm).

The Merlin Trust was set up as a vehicle to raise finance for the oil refinery and issue shares. Most of the papers are official reports and accounts, with some correspondence, 1937-1957 (Tg Bmt).

Petrochemicals Limited operated the Catarole Plant after the initial development by the Manchester Oil Refinery Limited. Articles of association, accounts, minutes, reports and papers survive, 1946-1954 (Tg Bpl).

Petrocarbon Limited was intended as a research and development company to sit alongside Petrochemicals Ltd. The records primarily consist of minutes of board meetings and correspondence,1940-1957 (Tg Bpn).

The collection also 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, including reports and comments made by Tugendhat to contacts within the British government, 1938-1941 (Tg Cx).

Maps and plans give an indication of the planning of both the Manchester Oil Refinery and other office buildings owned by the companies along with organisational charts showing the interrelation of the companies in the MOR group (Tg M).

Other groups of records within the archive consist of personal, research and ephemeral items.

There is a large section devoted to 'Iris', a business located in Hungary in which Dr Tugendhat, his father and brother all had an interest. Much of this section relates to the claim for compensation made against the Hungarian Government (Tg P 1).

Dr Tugendhat was elected to the Board of British and Continental Banking Company in September 1947 and his papers include copies of balance sheets, minutes and correspondence relating to the business of the bank (Tg P 2).

The international Mont Pelerin Society was founded in April 1947 by a group of economists, historians and philosophers from Europe and America. The founding members hoped that intellectual argument would lead an ideological movement in favour of liberal free market values and a defence of private property. Tugendhat's papers contain texts of lectures and discussion papers from 1948 to 1957 (Tg P 3).

A long association with the London School of Economics is recorded in various ways, including notices of donations from the MOR group of companies. Dr Tugendhat believed in the value of a partnership between industry and academic research. He was made a member of the Court of Governors in March 1949 and gave lectures at the school (Tg P 4-5).

Other private papers refer to his work for the Conservative Research Centre (Tg P 6), correspondence and insurance (Tg P 7), and his unpublished autobiography (Tg P 8), and miscellaneous material 1942-1958 (Tg P 9).

A significant series of research papers include evidence given to various bodies. This includes Tugendhat's submissions to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee 1943-1944 concerning taxation and industrial research (Tg R 1) and the evidence given by him and the Manchester Oil Refinery to the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Committee 1942 - 1945 (Tg R 2). A further file contains records of additional research undertaken by the Manchester Oil Refinery (Tg R 3).

Miscellaneous material includes a history of the Tugendhat family by Janusz Spyra, 'From Bielsko into the World. The History of the Tugendhat Family', Apr. 1998 (Tg X).

Finally in the initial acquisition, there is a series of publications and newspaper cuttings relating both to Tugendhat's own research as well as to research and marketing undertaken by the Manchester Oil Refinery group (Tg Z).

More recent accruals are as yet uncatalogued.
MgtGroupBusiness records
ArrangementThe collection was in considerable disorder when it was received. It is thought that some original series were broken up during the period that Dr Tugendhat was preparing material for his autobiography and in the course of subsequent review by researchers. The collection retains as far as possible the evidence of an original filing system, and items have been arranged alphabetically or chronologically within the various series. There appears to be considerable overlap between some categories of material describing the industrial processes. There may be scope for further rationalisation of the archive if more detailed listing is undertaken.
TermPetroleum industry and trade - England
Petroleum - Refining - England
FindingAidsThis is the only finding aid available for this collection. Copyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham.
ReprodnNoteReprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.
Related MaterialBurmah 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.
Publication NoteDr. 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)

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA1174Manchester Oil Refinery Limited
NA1175Tugendhat; Georg (1898-1973); Dr; industrialist and economist1898-1973
NA1174Manchester Oil Refinery Limited
NA1174Manchester Oil Refinery Limited
NA1177Petrochemicals Limited
NA1178Petrocarbon Limited
NA1175Tugendhat; Georg (1898-1973); Dr; industrialist and economist1898-1973
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