British photographic history

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Trivial: What's the connection between Brent Cross Shopping Centre and photography?

Did you know that the ground where Brent Cross Shopping Centre (in London NW4) is currently situated was once the chemical works site of Johnsons of Hendon?

Johnsons of Hendon Limited began with a goldsmith named Richard Wright with a business in 1743 in Maiden Lane in the City. John Johnson took over the business and was the first independent Assayer in the City. In 1839 Johnson and Sons began making chemical salts of silver and gold for Fox Talbot’s photographic process.

The photographic chemical side of the business grew rapidly and in 1927 the offices and warehouse were moved from Finsbury (23, Cross Street, Finsbury, London E.C) to Hendon. The company became so closely identified with the district and its address (their Head Office and Chemical Works were located at 335, Hendon Way, London, NW4) that in 1948 the company name was officially changed from Johnson and Sons, Manufacturing Chemists Ltd; to Johnsons of Hendon Limited.

You can read more of it here and here.

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