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History of Tatlock & Thomson

Food and Drink Adulteration

The widespread practice of food and drink adulteration in Victorian times was clearly driven (as it is in some countries today) by financial desires. The authorities had been concerned with this problem for some time and as far back as 1850 an Analytical Sanitary Commission was established to investigate the question of food adulteration in London. The findings of this commission resulted in the passing of the 1860 Adulteration Act. This act included a non-compulsory provision for court appointment of analysts in the counties and in the metropolis of London.

Robert Tatlock

The founder of this firm, Robert Tatlock was born in Glasgow on May 18th, 1837. He and his nephew, Thomson, set up their business in Bath Street, Glasgow, in 1891 and became that city's public analysts. At that time food and drink adulteration was prevalent and the new firm developed specialist expertise as food and drink analysts and as public analysts for the city of Glasgow.

More information on Robert Tatlock is avaialble at:

Robert Tatlock

Scotch Whisky

Tatlock & Thomson has a long history with the Scotch Whisky Industry. Its partners were key witnesses in the 1908 Royal Commission which decided the first legal definition of Scotch whisky. Tatlock was called as an expert witness at this commission, where the Commission found that "Whiskey is a spirit obtained from a wash saccharified by the diastase of malt and that Scotch Whiskey is a whiskey as above if distilled in Scotland". These findings determined the definition of Scotch Whisky which in essence, persists to this day. In 1915, Lloyd George introduced the compulsory bonding of spirits for a minimum period of 3 years on the basis that 'Drink was doing more damage in the war than all the German submarines put together'.

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