Papers of the Ragosine Oil Company

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Copy of report and proposals relating to company affairs, 1881; minutes of the Board and annual general meetings, 1927-1948; photocopied minutes of the Ragosine, Orcene Lubrication and K. Allan Group Co-ordination Committee, 1968; financial papers, 1881, 1927, 1948; correspondence consisting mainly of in-letters from V. I. Ragosine and Company, Moscow. The correspondence relates to orders for various types of oils and tars, and to the payment for and transport of these orders, 1882-1907. The collection also includes a volume of mounted testimonial letters to Ragosine Oils, 1880-1927; volumes of pasted in items labelled "Stationery and Circulars", 188--1933; other publications of the company, 1970s; personal papers of the Ragosine family, 1825-1950s; photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Victor Ivanovitch Ragosine, a Russian took a degree in chemistry at the University of Moscow in 1854. Realising Europe's need for lubricants as its heavy industries rapidly expanded, he produced from astatki (a mineral oil residue previously considered waste) a yellow lubricating oil. This proved to be superior to the vegetable and animal oils then in use, which were prone to induce corrosion in the machines they were supposed to protect. Unlike them the Ragosine oil was virtually non-corrosive. The production process, using superheated steam, was patented and the oil was subsequently marketed throughout Europe. An English agency was opened in 1878 in London. Four years later the agency manager, Ernest Glehn, bought out the Russian parent's interest and established his own business - Ragosine and Company.

Reference: The History of ROCOL (  Accessed June 2002.


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by the Chairman of the Michael Beecham Group of Companies in 1979.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of this collection-level description is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom. A file level catalogue is also available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom, at the National Register of Archives in London and in Chadwyck-Healey's National Inventory of Documentary Sources.

An authority record exists for the Ragosine Oil Company (GB 152 AAR2201).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Centre also holds papers of K. Allan and Company Ltd (MSS.198/A), Belgrave Oil and Grease Company (Leeds) Ltd (MSS.198/B), Henry Wells Oil Company/Germ Lubricants Ltd (MSS.198/G), Thomas Moscrop & Co Ltd (MSS.198/M), Orcene Company Ltd (MSS.198/OR).

Corporate Names