Phoenix Pure bag seal

Photo: National Museums Liverpool CC By SA2.0
Object type: Seal
Period: Modern
Primary material: Lead alloy
Date found: 02/11/2023
Location: Wincle, Cheshire


A lead alloy bag seal from the turn of the 1890s. On the obverse is a Phoenix emerging from flames with the word “PURE” underneath. On the reverser is PHOENIX COMPANY around the edge with LIVERPOOL across the middle.

As the PAS record says, this is a seal for the Phoenix Oil Mill Company of 3 Rumford Street, Liverpool. The company manufactured various animal feeds, under the brand name “PURE” and traded in other feeds and fertilisers.

Normally with such detailed information on a company which appeared to be trading widely it is possible to find some more information with a quick search of the internet. However, in this case, I found little more. The only real nugget of interest that I found was an account from 1938 of the The Sixth Form Science Society’s account of a trip to one of the Mills which bore the companies name, as recorded in the Liverpool Institute Magazine:

The visits are arranged so as to provide spectacular entertainment and scientific knowledge, and no Classicist need fear a boring afternoon on one of these visits

The first visit of the term was to the Phoenix Oil Mill, Norfolk Street, Liverpool, on Wednesday, October 20th [1937]. The party numbered 15 and we were conducted round the mill by three guides. The whole process was explained to us, and though we were literally in a fog, we understood it clearly.

Perhaps thoughts of alarm were engendered in our minds when we were told in one part of the Mill that if an match was struck there, the whole Mill would be blown to pieces due to the combustion of the dust-lade atmosphere. We escaped whole, however, although some of us carried great quantities of the dust away with us on our clothes.” – A. Grabman and W. A. Mitchell