Henry Tate & Sons

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1869 to 1921

Located in



In 1872, Henry Tate & Sons was operating out of the Love Lane Refinery in Liverpool that produced 400 tons of sugar a week. In 1875, Henry Tate bought the rights to Eugen Langen’s sugar cube, which was more convenient to make and sell than traditional sugar loaves ( In 1878 Henry Tate & Sons built a new seven and a half acre Thames Refinery in Silvertown to accommodate for the production increase that was needed. The Silvertown refinery was doubled in size in 1908 because of the popularity of sugar cubes (Ball 2001). They also expanded operations to include a refinery in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1909. Henry Tate became so wealthy from the sugar business that he was able to fund libraries, hospitals, community centres, and the world-famous Tate Gallery. Both the Silvertown and Lisbon refineries were still operating up to 2010 under the Tate & Lyle name, following a merger between the two sugar giants in 1921, and since 2010 under American Sugar Refining, Inc. (July 2012: Tate & Lyle Sugars – a European Manufacturing Business brochure).

In the 17th and 18th century, sugar was imported from sugar cane plantations in sub-tropic locations like the West Indies. By the 18th century, sugar beet was being grown locally in Europe, so Henry Tate & Sons imported large amounts of sugar from Germany, Holland, Belgium and France.