Soap, ink and seawater

The inventor of hard soap, indigo ink and a method for desalinating sea-water still in use today was commemorated with a Marchmont Association blue plaque at 91 Judd Street yesterday. The plaque is to Dr Alphonse Normandy (a.k.a. Dr Alphonse Rene le Mire de Normandy), a chemist who lived and worked on Judd St from 1850 to 1859.


The plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Nadia Shah, with the able assistance of Emilio Gabrielli, President of the International Desalination Association (IDA), who sponsored the plaque, Dr Jim Birkett, and Niki Panorgia, Normandy’s great, great, great, great grandson.

The event was attended by representatives of IDA, the Royal Society of Chemistry and Friends of South Norwood Cemetery, where Normandy’s family grave can be found.

Many thanks to the IDA for sponsoring this plaque and to the leaseholders of 91 Judd Street for allowing us to install the plaque on this historic, Grade II listed building, which was built by James Burton in the early 19th century.

Research to establish Normandy’s links to Judd St were by the indefatigable Debbie Radcliffe.


One thought on “Soap, ink and seawater

  1. Pingback: A heritage index for Bloomsbury – Marchmont Voice

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