A 500-acre (2 km²) riverside site was developed to become Europe's largest car plant, a vast vertically integrated site with its own blast furnaces and power station, importing iron ore and exporting finished vehicles.
By the 1950s Ford had taken over Briggs at Dagenham and its other sites at Doncaster, Southampton, Croydon and Romford.
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Other industrial names once known worldwide were Ever Ready, whose batteries could be found in shops throughout the Commonwealth, Bergers Paint and the chemical firm of May and Baker who in 1935 revolutionized the production of antibiotics with their synthetic sulfa-drug known as M&B 693.
The May & Baker plant, owned and run by Sanofi-Aventis, occupies a 108-acre site in Rainham Road South, near Dagenham East tube station.
In addition there are numerous different wards that cover the Dagenham district.
At the time of the 2011 census, the Alibon ward (north of Heathway station) was 61% White British and 15% Black African.
Services on the London Tilbury & Southend line at Dagenham East were withdrawn in 1962.