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   Back to Willem van Velde the Elder (1611-93) and the Younger (1633—1707) in London 1672-1707
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'Why were bird droppings and animal blood used in Silvertown?'

Answer:

To make artificial fertilisers for agriculture.

  • Guano, bird droppings rich in phosphorus and calcium, was imported by the Olendorff Peruvian (later, the Anglo-Continental) Guano Company.
  • The Odams Chemical Manure Company made fertiliser out of the blood of cattle slaughtered after arriving at the neighbouring Victoria Dock.
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National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
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