Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,399 pages of information and 233,518 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

of Croda House, Snaith, Goole, Yorkshire. Telephone: Snaith 77. Cables: "Croda, Goole". London Office: 29 Bedford Chambers, Covent Garden, WC2

1925 The company was founded by George William Crowe, a retired shipowner, and Henry James Dawe (hence the company name). Crowe's nephew, A. P. Wood (Alfred Philip Wood (1903-1949)?), was also involved.

The firm was established for the extraction of wool-grease from seed-cake produced by the Bradford wool-scouring mills. Soon afterwards the company refined lanolin from this source, and Croda Ltd. was soon supplying it to no less than fifty-one countries throughout the world.

Lanolin had been shown to be an effective rust preventative, so customers in the first decades of the company's trading were in the engineering and automotive industries.

WWII Supplied camouflage oils, insect repellents and gun cleaning oils

Post-WWII Diversified into new areas, most notably cosmetics. Growth was led by Fred Wood. Mr Wood was managing director until his early death in 1949.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert as Specialists in Wool Grease and Wool Grease Derivatives. Manufacturers of Lanolin, Wool Grease, Wool Wax Alcohols, Semi Refined Cholesterol, Pure Cholesterol, Fatty Acids, Absorption Bases, Self Emulsifying Waxes. Lanolin Alternatives, Penicillin Base. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1250) (Chemicals etc Section) [1]

1950s Croda entered the USA market, leading to the formation of Croda Inc, which has two manufacturing sites and sales teams covering all of North America and Canada.

By the early 1960s Croda was producing emulsifiers, lanolin, lanolin alcohols, plasticisers, and anti-rust and protective preparations a vast range of paints, finishes and oils for all purposes, and for hydraulic and de-icing fluids.

1964 Became a public company

1966 Acquired United Premier Oil and Cake Co

1968 Acquired British Glues and Chemicals

The 1970s and 1980s saw continuing organic growth and a series of acquisitions bringing diversifyication into many new markets. Manufacturing included chemicals as well as paints, printing inks, adhesives, dyestuffs as well as the processing of honey.

1982 After defending against a takeover bid by Burmah Oil, there was a change in strategy, focusing on familiar businesses - naturally-derived speciality chemicals.

1993 Acquired Manders' Industrial Paints Division; sold the Ink Division to Manders.

1997 Acquired Sederma - skincare active ingredients

2006 Acquired Uniqema from ICI.

2011 Created the Technologies Investment Group to promote innovation. Joint venture bid for Chinese based Sipo.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 261; and p73
  • [1] Goole on the Web
  • [2] Coal and Wood Tar Distillers
  • [3] Croda history