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British Industrial History

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Orrs Zinc White

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of Widnes, Lancs. T.A.: Orr, Widnes. Telephone: 218 Widnes

Founded by John Bryson Orr

1861 Orr carried out experiments on mixed zinc and barium pigment.

1872 Orr, on returning to Glasgow, set up a factory for the manufacture of the pigment he had developed, Lithopone (although he never referred to the pigment by this name).

1874 Patent for "Orr's permanent white enamel paint"; the name passed through "permanent zinc white", "permanent zinc sulphide white" and various other permutations until Orr's Zinc White became generally used on the founding of the Widnes works.

1884 A patent described the use of a mixture of barium and strontium sulphates.

1896 (?1898) He founded the firm of Orr's Zinc White Ltd, in Widnes, Lancashire.

1914 Manufacturers of zinc white and other non-poisonous paints. [1]

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Orr's Zinc White and Lithopone. (Stand Nos. A.22 and A.25) [2]

1930 Orr's Zinc White Ltd was acquired by the Imperial Smelting Corporation of which Orr remained director until the time of his death.

1933 John Bryson Orr died on 23 September.


J. B. Orr and Co may have been in existence for some time before 1880, using material from Orr's Glasgow works.

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