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British Industrial History

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Lewis Berger and Sons

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April 1908.
January 1920.
March 1921.
March 1939.
April 1939. Pompeian.
April 1938.
May 1947.
November 1947.
January 1948.
August 1948. Hymeg and Hymeglas.
January 1949.
March 1949.
November 1950.
May 1957. Bergermaster Paints.
August 1958. Bergermaster.
May 1960. Magicote.

Berger and Sons of Homerton, London, E9, produced paints known as Berger Paints.

1760 Louis Steigenberger (1740-1816) moved from Frankfurt to London to sell Prussian blue which was made using his own secret formula.

1766 A company had been established with Frederick Smith. [1]

Louis changed his name to Lewis Berger and married and settled in Hometon, East London. The colours he produced were sold in a shop in Cheapside, London.

1781 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership between Lewis Berger and Philip Thomas Hoggins, of Homerton in the County of Middlesex, Colour-manufacturers, under, the Firm of Berger and Hoggins, was this Day dissolved by mutual Consent; and that all Debts owing to the said Partnership Account are to be paid to the said Lewis Berger only...'[2]

1785 Premises were purchased in Queen Street, Cheapside to keep in touch with the city and export trade. John and Samuel Berger, Lewis's sons ran this part of the company.

1790 By this time Berger was selling 19 different pigments, as well as black lead, sulphur, sealing wax and mustard.

1814 Lewis Berger died and his sons, John and Samuel took over the running of the business. They were succeeded by John's sons, Lewis Curwood and Capel Berrow Berger, afterwards it was ran by Arthur another of Lewis's sons.

1879 Lewis Berger and Sons was incorporated[3].

Acquired a white lead works in Sheffield

1905 The company's financial state was uncertain until W. H. Cottingham, vice-president of the American paint maker, Sherwin Williams, bought control of the company. The company built factories around the British Empire and developed colours for printing, enamels and varnishes.

1908 Made a private company

1926 Company went public

1934 29 acres of land were purchased in Chadwell Heath to build factories for manufacturing.

1937 Dope, paint and varnish manufacturers. [4]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1950 The company had to move from Homerton to make way for a new trunk road (that was never built).

1950s The Chadwell Heath site in Essex already supported a small factory making nitro-cellulose paints and this site was developed to accommodate new offices, paint and resin production plants, laboratories and warehouses on the site.

1957 The Homerton site was finally closed. The company was trading as Lewis Berger (Gt. Britain) Ltd.

1960 Merged with Jenson and Nicholson Ltd to become Berger, Jenson and Nicholson Ltd

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Enamels and finishes.

1960 The company after merger with Jenson and Nicholson

1969 acquired British Paints Ltd.

1969 Taken over by Hoeschst AG[5], the firm retained its separate identity.

1987 After being sold to Williams Holdings it became part of Crown Paints and then finally part of the Dutch Akzo Nobel company.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Confirmation of this required
  2. [1] Gazette Issue 12230 published on the 2 October 1781. Page 2 of 4
  3. The Times, May 27, 1969
  4. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  5. The Times, December 08, 1987
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5
  • [2] The Friends of the Old Paint Company - Lewis Berger and Sons
  • Archives of the British chemical industry, 1750-1914: a handlist. By Peter J. T. Morris and Colin A. Russell. Edited by John Graham Smith. 1988.