Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,750 pages of information and 230,103 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1814 Jeremiah Colman began milling flour and mustard in Norwich, UK. Diversified mid-century into starch, wheat flour and laundry blue.
1840 Isaac Reckitt rented, then subsequently (in 1848) bought a starch mill in Hull, diversified into other household products, and became renowned for starch, washing blue and black lead for polishing. His four sons took over after his death. (Reckitt's history page).
1886 Reckitt and Sons began its expansion and opened businesses around the world - the first in Australia.
1888 Reckitt and Sons was launched on the London Stock Exchange.
1904 Hull's Garden Village was inaugurated by Sir James Reckitt, Bart.
1913 Joint venture set up in South America between Reckitt and Sons and J. and J. Colman - Atlantis Ltd. So successful that it is extended, in 1921, to cover all trading outside U.K.
1913 In the UK, Reckitt and Sons joined the Mason brothers to form the Chiswick Polish Co. Diversification into other branded household products continued through the war years and the Twenties.
1932 A major breakthrough for Reckitt and Sons, with the decision to market a germicide, Dettol, endorsed by the medical profession.
1968 Rationalisation programme planned; the divisions of the company would be:
1970 The Meltonian Wren factory at Cricklewood was to be closed
1995 The Colman's part of the business was demerged and Colman's became part of Unilever.