The production of chemicals in nineteenth century Blackburn was closely related to textiles, and many of the minor manufacturing chemists were concerned with the supply of mordants, dyes, tallow, oils, greases and tapers' size to the local cotton industry. Tar distillation and the production of liquid ammonia was also undertaken. A number of the smaller workshops were located at Livesey, close to the firebrick works, and were operated by members of the Brothers family and their partners. Various firms; including the Sizeoline Company of John Slater, later used the site until its demolition in the late 1930's.
Larger businesses took over existing buildings, as with Adley, Tolkein & Company, size makers, at the former spinning block of Rockcliffe Mill, Cupal Limited, of Phoenix Mill, King Street, and T. A. Ward, now operating from a former merchant's house in King Street. The latter two companies are both involved in the manufacture of pharmacuticals. Many of the firms originally established to service the textile industry went out of business during the 1930's, although two, Blackburn Products Limited and Joseph Davies, both tallow refiners, have survived by diversifying into different fields.