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 148,481 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Cookson Group

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Previously Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries

1980s Cookson was a diversified industrial conglomerate operating in the tioxide and lead paint markets while developing several new business lines including electronics, ceramics and precious metals

1982 Lead Industries changed its name to Cookson Group, bring back to use a name of one of its principal components.

1982 Major parts of the business were [1]:

  • Metals and Chemicals
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Paints and Wallpapers
  • Ceramic Supplies

Manufacturing in 10 countries.

1985 Mitchell Somers sold Wolverhampton Die-Casting Co to Cookson after continued losses.

1987 Bought the Vesuvius Crucible Co, a ceramics supplier

1994 Acquired the European Precious Metals fabrication business of Johnson, Matthey and Co; disposed of the lead fabrication business. Formed JV with Johnson Matthey Cookson Matthey Ceramics.

1998 Johnson Matthey bought Cookson's share of Cookson Matthey Ceramics. Focussed on 3 divisions:

  • Electronics
  • Ceramics
  • Precious Metals

Focus grew on speciality ceramics

2007 Acquired Foseco for £600M.

2012 Renamed Vesuvius

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 12 May 1982
  • Cookson Group history [1]