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Biographical entry Todhunter, Benjamin Edward (1865 - 1952)

27 August 1865
Christchurch, New Zealand
Industrial chemist


Benjamin Edward Todhunter was a New Zealander who was a member of both the ICI UK and the ICI Australia Boards in the 1930s. He foresaw a major potential market in Australia for ammonium nitrate based fertilisers, but it was almost 40 years before this eventuated.


Born Opawa, Christchurch, New Zealand, 27 August 1865. Died 1952. OBE 1918. Educated London University. Work with Faulkner & Tancred on the Winchester & Whitchurch railway 1884-86; helped his uncle, Julius von Haast at the Colonial & Indian Exhibition in London 1886-87; railway engineering firm, Baldry & Yerburgh 1887; returned to New Zealand 1888; partnership, Todhunter & Jennings, Auctioneers & Estate Agents 1890-95; to England 1896; The West Hydraulic Engineering Company 1896?-1906; Managing Director, The Cotton Powder Co. sometime after 1905-1918; Director, Explosive Trades (formed from merger of all explosive manufacturers including the Cotton Powder Company) 1918-20, when name changed to Nobel Industries; went to Australia 1919 to bring together all the Australian Explosives manufacturing interests; went to South Africa 1923 for negotiations with De Beers over the amalgamation of all the explosives interests in South Africa; ICI formed 1926; went to Australia 1928 to put together all the ICI interests in Australia and New Zealand; in charge of the Associated Companies between World War I and World War II - Lighting Trades, The Paper Goods Manufacturing Co., Steatite & Porcelain Products, The Portland Glass Co. and Murex & Murex Welding Processes; retired 1947.

Between 1926 and 1965 there was a Todhunter on the ICI board for all but 4 years.

Published resources


See also

Rosanne Walker