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 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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December 1951. Zirconium.
June 1955. Sintered Permanent Magnets.
1964. Large electric beam furnace.

of Thames House, Milbank, London (1934)

1913 The Murex Company Ltd[1] was founded in reconstruction of Murex Magnetic Co Ltd

1918 The company manufactured tungsten from Wolfram ores made available by the Ministry of Munitions; premises had been acquired in Essex[2] (Rainham)

1920 Further reconstruction as Murex Ltd

Between 1928 and 1937 Murex bought other premises on the water-front at Rainham[3]

1929 Acquired the goodwill, patents and trademarks of Thermit Ltd, a company which was owned by ICI[4]; acquired Pure Metal Manufacturing Co Ltd[5]

1930 Acquired from ICI 91.77 percent of the share capital of Premier Electric Welding Co and the 75 percent it owned of a subsidiary electric welding company[6]

1930 Murex acquired Alloy Welding Processes, Ltd. [7]

1931 Formed an American subsidiary

1931 Formed a subsidiary Murex Welding Processes Ltd

1933 Several additions to the business had been made at Rainham; the separations business continued satisfactorily; demand for the manufactured alloys had improved[8]

1934 Manufacturer of tungsten powder and alloy, iron founder and owner of an electric welding business; owner of patent rights for ore separation and concentration[9]

1934 Pure Metal Manufacturing ceased trading[10]

1935 In conjunction with Johnson, Matthey and Co, which controlled some fabrication patents, the company formed 2 new companies for production and fabrication of magnesium alloys - Magnesium Metal and Alloys Ltd and Magnesium Castings and Products Ltd[11]

1936 Murex purchased the interests of Johnson Matthey in Magnesium Metal and Alloys[12]

1938 Moved into new, larger factory

1944 Established Protolite to handle sales of tungsten carbide products[13]

1946 Premises were at Rainham and Waltham Cross; the company withdfrew from magnesium-related business[14]

1948 Began production of tungsten carbide mining bits at a subsidiary in South Africa; continued R&D at Rainham and Waltham Cross[15]

By 1951 the Powder Metallurgy Division was in Rainham (see adverts)

1950-52 Erected and staffed a Beryllium factory at Milford Haven as an Agency factory for the UKAEA[16]

1952 New research building opened at Rainham and plans developed for extension of the R&D facilities at Waltham Cross[17]

1955 Withdrew from the copper refining activity because it was unprofitable but continued with ferro-chrome despite low prices[18]. A pilot plant for extraction and fabrication of Zirconium metal was established with an eye on the developing interest in atomic energy[19]

1957 Increased demand for tanatalum and niobium powders was being met from a pilot plant established after several years R&D but a new production plant would also be constructed[20]

1959 Established Thermit Welding (Great Britain) Ltd as a subsidiary[21]

1960 Sold the Milford Haven Beryllium factory to Consolidated Beryllium Ltd[22]

1963 Drop in demand for ferro-alloys especially for the aircraft industry but many other product areas more or less maintained production even though costs rose[23]

1967 Acquired by British Oxygen Co which saw useful fit with its welding activities and the specialist metal activities[24]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Nov 07, 1941
  2. The Times, Apr 30, 1918
  3. [1] British History online
  4. The Times, Jan 19, 1929
  5. The Times, Oct 03, 1929
  6. The Times Dec 05, 1929
  7. The Times, Jun 12, 1930
  8. The Times, Oct 06, 1933
  9. The Times, Sep 22, 1934
  10. The Times Nov 08, 1944
  11. The Times, Oct 18, 1935
  12. The Times, Oct 16, 1936
  13. The Times, Nov 08, 1944
  14. The Times, Oct 31, 1946
  15. The Times, Sep 02, 1948
  16. The Times Sep 03, 1957
  17. The Times, Oct 01, 1953
  18. The Times, Sep 06, 1955
  19. The Times Sep 06, 1955
  20. The Times , Apr 29, 1957
  21. The Times Sep 05, 1961
  22. The Times Jul 26, 1960
  23. The Times, Sep 03, 1963
  24. The Times , Jun 14, 1967