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Reckitt & Coleman's Chronology


One of Hull's major employers for many years, the Reckitt Beckiser company has had a mojor effect on the people of Hull and the growth of the City itself.

Reckitt & Coleman
1814 Jeremiah Colman begins milling flour and mustard in Norwich, UK. Diversifies mid-century into starch, wheat flour and laundry blue.
1823 Founding of Benckiser by Johann A. Benckiser. Core business derived from industrial chemicals.
1840 Isaac Reckitt rents, then subsequently (in 1848) buys a starch mill in Hull, diversifies into other household products, becoming renowned for starch, washing blue and black lead for polishing His four sons take over after his death. (Reckitt's history page).
1886 Reckitt & Sons begins its expansion and opens businesses around the world - the first in Australia.
1888 Reckitt & Sons is launched on the London Stock Exchange.

Hull's Garden Village was inaugurated by Sir James Reckitt, Bart.

1912 Lehn & Fink Products begins US production of Lysol - originally imported from Germany
1913 Joint venture set up in South America between Reckitt & Sons and J&J Colman - Atlantis Ltd. So successful that it is extended, in 1921, to cover all trading outside U.K.
1913 In the UK, Reckitt & Sons join the Mason brothers in forming the Chiswick Polish Company. Diversification into other branded household products continues through the war years and the Twenties.
1933 A major breakthrough for Reckitt & Sons, with the decision to market a germicide, Dettol, endorsed by the medical profession.
1913 Reckitt & Sons merge with J&J Colman to become Reckitt & Colman Ltd
1933 The Chiswick Polish Company merges with Reckitt & Colman Ltd.
1938 Benckiser diversifies into consumer goods and industrial cleaning products. In the same year, Benckiser launches Calgon water softener
1954 Benckiser develops and launches Calgonit Automatic Dishwashing Detergent and Quanto Fabric Softener in 1966.
1956 Benckiser continues its expansion into consumer goods via acquisitions and divestitures and in 1985 acquires St. Marc S.A, France
1964 Reckitt & Colman buys Airwick products
1982 Benckiser purchases Mira Lanza Spa and Panigal Spa, Italy
1989 Benckiser acquires S.A. Camp Group, Spain
1990 Reckitt & Colman acquire Boyle-Midway, the American household products group with brands Woolite, Easy-Off, Sani-Flush, Wizard and Old English.
1990 Benckiser acquires worldwide branded business of Beecham Household Products in US and Canada.
1991 Benckiser begins expansion into Eastern Europe
1994 Reckitt & Colman acquires Lehn & Fink Products, including Lysol, the famous household disinfectant brand in the USA
Reckitt & Colman sells the Colman’s food business
1996 Benckiser continues its expansion into the Baltic countries, Belorussia, China, Israel
1999 Reckitt & Colman plc and Benckiser N.V. merge to become Reckitt Benckiser plc – The world no.1 in household cleaning
2000 In November, Reckitt Benckiser acquires Tiga Roda - an Indonesian pest control business
2001 March - RB acquires Oxy, a leading household business in Korea
2001 April - RB disposes of (non-core) firelighter business
2001 August - RB disposes of Dr. Becher, a non-core business
2002 Reckitt Benckiser acquires outstanding minority interest in India and Sri Lanka

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