Hackney top 5: facts about Hackney Wick

Hackney Wick: powerhouse of industrial innovation, artists’ colony, land of all-night warehouse parties and cool, home-spun cafés, and now focus of a slew of housing development. Amid raging debate on the future of the area, impress your pals with our 5 favourite facts about the Wick.

1. The world’s first synthetic plastic was produced in Hackney Wick in the 1860s.

2. Dry cleaning was first introduced to the UK here in the 1870s.

3. Loo paper was pioneered in the Wick the 1880s.

4. It was a Hackney Wick oil distiller who introduced the term ‘petrol’ in the 1890s.

5. The ‘round eye’ specs worn by Mahatma Gandhi and John Lennon, and also featuring in the Harry Potter and Indiana Jones films, were handmade at the 1932 Algha Works factory on Fish Island.