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

Scope and Content

The collection, which is very largely concerned with the development and work of the ManchesterOil Refinery Limited and related interests, contains private and business correspondence of Dr GeorgTugendhat 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 impacton industry, 1938-1941 (Tg Cx).

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Georg Tugendhat was born on 17 February 1898 the son of Samuel and Gabriele Tugendhat ofVienna. He was educated at Vienna University (LLD) and the London School of Economics (MSc). He wasmade a lieutenant of the Austrian Imperial Army during World War One and then arrived in England in1921 where he became London representative of Neue Freie Presse of Vienna and Deutscher Wolkswirt ofBerlin. After a spell as Acting Financial Advisor to the Austrian Legation in London he becameLondon representative of Reichskredit Gesellschaft AG of Berlin between 1930 and 1933. He was agovernor and honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, a fellow of the Royal EconomicSociety, and a member of the Association Francaise des Techniciens du Ptrole. Tugendhat marriedMarie Littledale in 1934. He died on 6 April 1973.

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

Manchester Oil Refinery Limited was a pioneer for the Catrole refining process in Britain, aprocess that was invented by Prof. Charles Weizmann and Dr Ernest Bergmann. This led, in 1945, tothe 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 in1948 on a 120 acre site alongside the Manchester Ship Canal and Partington Gas Works. The plant wenton stream in 1952 but the Petrochemicals project was hit by a slump in the market for somechemicals, spiralling construction costs, and difficulties in training operatives to work theplant.

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


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

Access Information

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


Other 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 boxlisting is available in the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections and an inventory ofcorrespondents has been prepared. Copyright on all finding aids belongs to The University ofNottingham.

Separated Material

Conditions Governing Use

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

COPYRIGHT: Permission to make published use of any material from this collection must be soughtin advance in writing from the Keeper of the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections(email 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.

Custodial History

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

Related Material

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


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