Ayrton Saunders is a manufacturing chemist and pharmaceutical wholesaler. The company was established in Liverpool in 1868, by A.H. Saunders, a retired partner in a firm of chemists in London, and F. Ayrton, who was a Liverpool doctor. The company manufactured cod liver oil emulsion, dyestuffs and surgical instruments.
A.H. Saunders died in 1889, leaving the business to his two sons. The firm continued to grow and was incorporated as a limited liability company, Ayrton Saunders Ltd.,in 1902.
In 1903 two chemists’ businesses, Henry Gilbertsons Ltd. and W.H. Kemp & Son, were acquired. The company was renamed Ayrton, Saunders & Kemp Ltd., and in 1908 was restyled as Ayrton, Saunders & Co. Ltd.
During the 1950s Ayrton, Saunders & Co. Ltd. expanded into pharmaceutical wholesaling and two depots were established in Stoke and Preston. In 1998 the company was acquired by the O’Briens Group who modernised and further expanded the business which is now operated from Runcorn.