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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Spratt's Dog Food Factory
Once home to James Spratts groundbreaking pet food formulas
Location: Morris Road, Poplar, E14 6NQ
Description: This startling red brick factory nicely visible from the DLR was opened in 1899 to produce American James Spratts groundbreaking pet food formulas.
It was billed by Spratt himself as the largest pet food factory in the world. He had previously operated since 1860 in High Holborn.
Barges would deliver ingredients, specially fish heads and other products for processing into pet food.
Before 1914 the factory also made food for human consumption under the Poplar brand - it's claimed that in the Boer War 4 million biscuits a week were made for the British Army here.
Spratt was also an advertising pioneer and encouraged the idea that his biscuits used buffalo meat by putting up adverts showing Native Americans hunting bison the first use of billboards in London.
This was also where Charles Cruft worked, who the famous dog show was established by.