Reckitt and Coleman

Reckitt’s Blue, a laundry whitener, was one of the first widely marketed products manufactured by Reckitt and Sons.

The company began producing ‘laundry blue’ in 1852 by using a combination of synthetics ultramarine and sodium bicarbonate.

In 1926, Reckitt, together with Colman, acquired the largest US mustard company, R. T French Co., Rochester, New York; Colman took over the management.

Reckitt and Sons was first registered as a public company in 1888 J and J Colman in 1898. This two leading producers of starch and blueing for the laundering of cloth, Reckitt and Sons and its rival J & J Colman, were neighbors in Hull on the northeast coast.

They worked closely with other for decades but waited until 1938 to join in a formal merger. Reckitt and Colman was formed to manage all business outside the United Kingdom.

In 1913 a joint company, Atlantis Ltd was formed by the two companies to trade in South America, with profits being pooled. In 1928, Colman, Reckitt and R. T. French, organized the Atlantis Sales Corporation to unify the wholesaling for the three firm’s grocery products in the United States.

In 1984 Reckitt and Colman purchased the Airwick Division of Ciba-Geigy.

In 2000, Reckitt & Coleman merged with Benckiser to form Reckitt Benckiser. Reckitt Benckiser, headquartered in Slough is now the world’s biggest maker of household cleaners.
Reckitt and Coleman

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