John McClellan (chemist)

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John McClellan
John McClellan.jpg
John McClellan
Born 1810
Died 14 May 1881
Widnes, Lancashire, England
Residence England
Citizenship English
Fields Chemist
Known for Alkali manufacture
Opened one of the first chemical factories in Widnes

John McClellan (1810 – 14 May 1881) was a chemist and industrialist who established one of the first chemical factories in Widnes, Lancashire, England.[a]

John McClellan was born in Liverpool, the younger son of Alexander McClellan, a Scottish draper, and his wife Jane née Charlton. He started in business in Liverpool as a drysalter and in 1847 described himself as a merchant, borax manufacturer and ashes refiner.[1] That year he moved to Widnes and started to manufacture borax there. Later he also manufactured soda ash, saltcake and bleaching powder. In the 1870s the business failed and in 1879 it was declared bankrupt.[2]

McClellan was a member of the Widnes Local Board from its inception in 1865 and in 1869 became its chairman. He died at his home in Widnes in 1881. His estate was valued at £81.[2]

McClellan married Mary Gaskell, the daughter of a Liverpool cotton broker, in 1844. They had five children, one son, Alexander, and four daughters. Sarah Jane, their eldest daughter, married Henry Brunner, John Hutchinson's chief chemist. Alexander joined his father in the business and tried to continue it after his father's death but was unsuccessful.[3]

References and notes[edit]


  1. ^ At that time Widnes was in the historical county of Lancashire; it is now in the ceremonial county of Cheshire.


  1. ^ Hardie 1950, p. 219.
  2. ^ a b Hardie 1950, p. 26.
  3. ^ Hardie 1950, p. 220.