Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,364 pages of information and 245,906 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide
December 1907.
March 1911.


January 1920.
March 1922.
1930. Venesta Box. North Woolwich, Silvertown.


1930. Venesta Box. North Woolwich, Silvertown.
April 1949.
May 1949.
June 1949.
July 1949.
August 1949.

of Vintry House, Queen Street Place, London, EC4. Telephone: Central 6580. Telegraphic Address: "Venestra, Cannon, London"

Venesta Ltd., of 1 Gt. Tower St., E.C.3.

1896 The Venesta Syndicate was formed for the purpose of proving the value of Venesta board for making containers, tea-chests[1]

1898 The company was registered on 15 January, to acquire the business of the Venesta Syndicate, of St Mary Axe and Venesta Wharf, Limehouse, manufacturers of all kinds of boxes, packing cases etc; patents had been applied for [2]

1928 Closed the Millwall factory and concentrated all UK production at the Silvertown factory. Had started to introduce aluminium foil but this meant relearning the lessons from the introduction of tin[3]

1929 Headquarters moved to Vintry House; some of the rooms were panelled in plywood and some in Plymax. The metal rolling operations were improving. About 12 different departmental accounts were used to track the performance of the different sectors of the business[4]

1937 Plywood manufacturers. "Plymax" Metal Faced Plywood. "Venesta" Plywood. [5]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Makers of "Plymax", the metal-faced plywood and metal foil. Used in industry for partitions, lavatories, doors, bench tops, storage bins. Faced with galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, bronze, zinc. (Stand No. B.811 and B.722) [6]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

WWII Supplies of plywood from the normal sources (Estonia, Finland) were curtailed. Made great quantities of "silver paper"[7] and foil for "Window"; made tubes for anti-gas ointment; supplied plywood for manufacture of Mosquito aircraft; the Indian and Ceylon operations continued to make tea chests with foil linings[8]

1949 Factory acquired at Erith[9] where wood-working was concentrated. Aluminium foil production was concentrated at Silvertown.

1956 Ekco Products of Chicago, and its British subsidiary Platers and Stampers, formed closer links with Venesta by appointing the chairman of Ekco to the board of Venesta[10]

1956 Acquired Acme Tea Chests and its subsidiary Empire Aluminium, which enabled the company to expand aluminium foil production without building a new factory for itself; raised capital by issue of shares to fund the acquisition and update the foil rolling machinery of Empire[11][12]

1957 Prestige Group and its American parent, Ekco Products, owned 25 percent of the company[13]

1958 Reynolds T I Aluminium planned to acquire Venesta Ltd, maker of aluminium foil[14]

1959 After a reorganistion of Venesta into a group of separate companies, Reynolds T I Aluminium took over the foil business which operated in Britain, India and Ceylon. The remaining businesses, consisting of plywood and tea-chest trading and the manufacture of collapsible tubes, metal-faced plywood and containers, would continue as part of Venesta[15]

1960 Acquired the Winterbottom Book Cloth Co.[16]

1962 Operating divisions were[17]:

1965 The company merged its plywood interests with those of L. Keizer and Co and No-Nail Boxes to form Keizer Venesta.[18]

Note: (08/08)

  • Now as Armitage Venesta, a washroom system provider, the company is still in existence. It operates from two sites: Gravesend, Kent and Trentham, Staffordshire, and has its own website: [1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Feb 05, 1898
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Times, Dec 21, 1928
  4. The Times, Oct 31, 1929
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  6. 1937 British Industries Fair p429
  7. The Times, Mar 14, 1945
  8. The Times, Mar 28, 1946
  9. The Times, Feb 01, 1949
  10. The Times, Mar 23, 1956
  11. The Times, Dec 18, 1956
  12. The Times, Dec 17, 1957
  13. The Times, Mar 26, 1957
  14. The Times, Nov 14, 1958
  15. The Times, Sep 15, 1959
  16. The Times, May 2, 1961
  17. The Times, May 03, 1962
  18. The History of Keizer. Booklet published by the company in 1967.