Friday, 1 June 2012

Borwick's baking powder, Exeter

Born in Morven, Torquay, in 1806, George Borwick married Jane Hudson in 1831. It is said it was her father who gave them the formula for making baking powder. However the couple had to carry out experiments for more than a decade to improve it. Finally in 1842, George Borwick & Sons Ltd was founded and the baking powder launched on the market.

Until then people relied on home made yeast to raise cakes and breads but that gave rather random results. As a reliable rising agent, Borwick's baking powder was soon in high demand and in 1864 a factory was set up in London, possibly in Chiswell Street (over time Borwick & Sons had several factories in and around London, but since this was the company's address, it may well have been the original one). Borwick's customers included the Army, the Navy, as well as the queen's baker. The company flourished and was soon offering a whole range of products, including custard powder and even furniture cream, which "cleanses and gives the most brilliant and durable polish to all articles of furniture."
George Borwick died in 1889, leaving a fortune of £259,000. His son Robert Borwick became chairman of the family firm. Borwick & Sons later became a subsidiary of HJ Green and Co. Ltd. of Brighton. This company was then taken over by the Pillsbury Co. of Minneapolis. Nowadays the Borwick trademark is owned by the Irish company Kerry Group.

The Best In The World

On the picture below, I altered the vertical perspective.

Location: Cecil Road, Exeter, Devon / Pictures taken in April 2012

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