Record

Ref NoGB1752.UAC/2/7
Alt Ref NoUAC/YE, AS, SP
TitleUAC Medical Division
DescriptionManufacturing and marketing of toilet preparations; ethical proprietary medicines; surgical instruments; hospital equipment; specialised laboratory equipment and photographic goods.

The main operating groups within the Medical Division were A J Seward and Kingsway Chemists. Seward made and sold toilet preparations and proprietary medicines, surgical instruments, and the 'Colworth' range of laboratory equipment. It had a pharmaceutical factory at East Grinstead, Sussex. Kingsway Chemists, in Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone sold medicines, surgical instruments, hospital equipment and photographic goods.

Seward's began in 1890 as a trading enterprise (traditionally, toiletries, cosmetics and proprietary medicines), with businesses in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the Ivory Coast, but subsequently became a leading international manufacturer and supplier of medical equipment. Company name changed to West African Perfumeries Ltd 29 May 1961, and name of AJ Seward & Co. Ltd transferred on same day to former Liver Transport Co Ltd [formed by UAC 1936], when a shift was made to local production by the newly incorporated associated companies A J Seward (Nigeria) and A J Seward (Ghana), the remainder of the UK trade being handled by the London based company, registered office 6 Stamford St, London SE1. West African Perfumeries did not carry out any business on its own account. In 1973 Sewards, with Unachem [United Africa Chemists] became one of the two main operating groups within the newly formed Medical Division. In Nigeria it was a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria, and later ( 1994) an affiliate of Lever Brothers Nigeria, a subsidiary of Unilever. In Britain there were four areas of Seward interest: surgical equipment, hospital furniture, laboratory supplies and pharmaceuticals. Seward Medical sold, distributed, and exported a wide range of medical products, including surgical instruments and disposables, hospital equipment and furniture, medical engineering and electronic products. Seward Surgical designed and marketed Seward instruments, surgical specialities and a selection of hospital furniture, mainly in Britain but with a growing export trade. Medule mobile clinics designed and marketed by Seward Surgical were built by Massey International Coachbuilders Ltd (also Massey Coldshield) another UAC International Group company. Seward Laboratory supplied Sensititre, Immunostics and other diagnostic aids manufactured at East Grinstead and also a range of disposable products. Seward also marketed under its own Colworth brand a range of (hospital) laboratory equipment, developed by Unilever's own research establishment. At its East Grinstead, Sussex, factory, Seward Pharmaceutical (established 1972) manufactured a range of generic and proprietary pharmaceutical products (medicines), most of which were exported. In Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the Kingsway Chemists Division of the local company distributed ethical and proprietary medicines, surgical instruments, hospital equipment and photographic materials.

This section consists of strategic planning documents, visit reports, product development and advertising reports, accounts and minutes.
Date1917-1988
Extent36 boxes
LevelSub sub collection
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