William Kingham, a craftsman specialising in carriage varnishing, started a business at the sign of the "Whitecross" in #37, Barbican, between Golden Lane and Whitecross Street, in the city of London.
William Kingham was joined by John Jenson. Quality varnishes and Japan Black were the first materials they produced on this site.
Partnership dissolved.London Gazette (1848)
'...William Kingham and John Jenson, of No. 37, Barbican, in the city of London Varnish Manufacturers, hereby give notice, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, as Varnish Manufacturers, at No. 37, Barbican aforesaid, was, on the 4th day of June last, dissolved by mutual consent; and that all moneys owing by and due to the late firm will be paid and received by John Jonson, who will carry on the business.
Wilfred Nicholson joined the company.
Running the business single-handedly proved a tremendous strain on John Jenson. According to Wilfred Nicholson's grandson Harry Kimber who wrote Wilfred Nicholson’s biography, it was John Jenson's wife Harriet, who first mooted the idea of a partnership between John Jenson and Wilfred Nicholson.
Wilfred Nicholson started his commercial career with Grace Yallop & Co whose main business was in the manufacture of white lead from a factory in Bethnal Green. His first job with Grace Yallop was as a mercantile clerk and he rose to the rank of commercial traveller. It was through this aspect of his work he made contact with John Jenson.
The manufacturing site moved to Belle Isle, just north of what is now Kings Cross station. The name Belle Isle is something of a misnomer. It was an awful area with a host of factories ranging from bone boiling/glue manufacturing, candle making, varnish manufacturing, match makers, pigment manufacture through to bronze smelting. The factories were cheek to jowl with domestic dwellings.
Company acquired a building at 65 Goswell Road, EC.
The works at Belle Isle were destroyed by fire and Nicholson selected Stratford Marshes for the new factory premises which had the advantage of adjacent waterways connecting with the Thames
Jenson retired, but the name Jenson and Nicholson was retained ~ usually referred to simply as "J & N's".
The business had moved to what was then a meadow in Stratford. The name 'Goswell Works' was for many years over one of the entrances to the site ~and we assume this was a reference to the earlier site in London.
The company was beginning to develop a strong industrial base.
London Gazette (1878)
'...the Partnership existing between us the undersigned, John Jenson and Wilfred Nicholson, as Varnish Manufacturers and Oil and Colour Merchants, at 65, Goswell-road, in the county of Middlesex, and Stratford, in the county of Essex, has this day been determined by effluxion of time. All debts due to and from the late partnership will be received and paid by the said Wilfred Nicholson, by whom the business will be in future carried on...
Wilfred Nicholson was joined by his second son, John Charles Nicholson.
Partnership dissolvedLondon Gazette (1902)
'... us the undersigned, Wilfred Nicholson and John Charles Nicholson, carrying on business as Varnish Manufacturers, at Goswell Works, Stratford, in the county of Essex, under the style or firm of "JENSON AND NICHOLSON," has been dissolved by mutual consent as from the first day of January, 1902. All debts due and owing to or by the said late firm will be received and paid by the said John Charles Nicholson, who will continue the said business under the present style or firm of "Jenson and Nicholson."...
1911 - 20
One of the rare hoardings (1911-1920) of Jenson & Nicholson, available on Antique O’ Gem; one of the biggest platforms for Fine Art, Antiques and Jewellery and other collectables.
Varnish, paint and enamel manufacturers. Speciality: Copal varnish for coachbuilders, decorators, grainers etc., and the well-known decorative compound "Robbialac".
The Company was Incorporated on 2nd December, as a private limited company. The company's first paint factory is
located at Naihati, West Bengal State.
"The Lure of the Paintbrush" - Jenson's of Stratford, London - Robbialac Paints brochure, © 1925.
Prior to using artworks that were very "1930s" a more traditional 1920s style was used. Aimed at the new suburban housewife this brochure sold hard - paintbrushes and lures!
"Agent for Robbialac Paints", back cover to Jenson's Paint brochure, © 1930 - Jenson's, Stratford, London.
This artwork, in very stylised '30s fashion, was much used by Jenson's for their Robbialac products (including enamel signs). Interestingly the figure often used was of a woman - the paints being aimed at the new (and servant-less) middle class and suburban housewife.
The agent was G Widger & Sons, of Mutley Plain, Plymouth in Devon, England.
How to paint with Jenson's Robbialac", Stratford, London, leaflet cover c1930-
This little booklet which was published in 1930, gives details of the many uses you could put the various Robbialac products to about the house. This detailed guide was aimed at the many "new" suburban house dwellers who a) had houses to paint and b) didn't have the staff or money to employ professional painters. Anyhow, the typical "man about the house", pipe clamped between the teeth tells you how to do it.
Converted into a public limited company. The company also has a research and development laboratory.
The company's object is to manufacture of paints, pigments, varnishes and allied products such as weigh feeders,
railway wagon weighing devices, belt weighers, solid flow proportioning and measuring devices on stream and
automatic calibration devices. The company also carries on hotel business.
20,000 pref. shares allotted. These shares redeemable after 31.12.1968 at 6 month's notice
Allotted 4,585 pref. shares in 1956, 1,098 pref. shares in 1958 and 6 pref. shares in 1959.
The Company expanded its activities by establishing another plant manufacturing unit at Panvel, Maharashtra State.
75,000 Rights equity shares allotted in the prop. 3:13.
Arun Nehru at 36 years became the youngest president & CEO of Jenson & Nicholson (India) Ltd, his reputation already secure with the advertising slogan: "Whenever you see colour, think of us". He was the great grandson of Motilal Nehru's brother Nandlal. He was the President of Jenson and Nicholson for 17 years, till he joined politics at the request of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1980.
The ownership changed from foreign to Indian nationals
The Company took on lease Hotel Maurya, a 5-star hotel in Patna, Bihar State and started operating it.
3,50,000 Bonus equity shares were allotted in prop. 8:7.
Jenson & Nicholson (Nepal) Pvt. Ltd. was floated as a subsidiary of the Company in Nepal. J & N Leasing Co., Ltd. is also a subsidiary of the company.
7,50,000 No. of equity shares issued in Aug. 1993 (prem. Rs.5 per share). Of these 15,000 shares to promoters, directors etc. and 14,700 shares to business associates reserved for allotment. The balance 7,20,300 No. of equity shares offered to the public.
The company has the honour of being the first paint company in India to join the prestigious Nova Paint Club,
which is an association of eight exclusive paint companies all over the world. Through this membership,
it has access to the latest technology and modern manufacturing facilities developed in the paint industry.
Overall production declined due to sluggish market conditions and lower production on account of a 4 months strike at the Panvel factory.
The Company's R & D department, developed a new exterior emulsion paint for masonry surfaces and
it proposed to introduce `Microcont` based on digital technology to the Indian market.
Modernization of the Naihati Paint factory was taken up. Commercial production of powder coating under
collaboration with Societe Francaise Duco, France was started.
The company undertook a project for manufacture of Co-Polymer emulsions, a principal raw material for plastic
emulsion paints and other water based coatings, with technical assistance from M/s. Kalon Plc, U.K.
The powder coating capacity was further expanded by installation of certain balancing equipment.
The industrial electronics division absorbed the micro-cont technology were manufactured in the factory.
In the first phase, a modern powder coating plant and some product lines of liquid paint were commissioned.
The unit developed high solid alkyd for low solvent emission and development of non-oligomeric binders of high solid polyester.
Also, a serial communication link with other families of computer was established which in turn helped the unit to provide
microprocessor based weighing system in customer's large system network. It was also proposed to introduce a powerful
computer in the market which was to work as supervisory weighing controller. Also, for the paint division, polyurethane finishes
were developed which find use in coach factories.
The Company allotted non-convertible debentures aggregating to Rs.150 lakhs on private placement basis with
financial institutions viz., UTI, GIC, LIC and its subsidiaries.
The Company offered 11,25,000 - 14% FCD's of Rs.60 each for cash at par as rights in prop. 1 deb : 2 equity share held (all were taken up). Additional 1,68,750 debentures were allotted to retain over subscription. Another 56,250 - 14% debenture were issued to employees on an equitable basis. Rs.60 of the face value of each debenture was to be converted into 1 equity share of Rs.10 at a prem. of Rs.50 per share. Accordingly 13,36,050 shares were allotted on October, 1992.
7,50,000 shares allotted as fully paid Bonus shares by capitalisation of general reserve and share prem.
13,36,050 shares allotted on conversion of convertible debenture.
There was a considerable pressure on margins due to intensive competition in the industry for maximizing the volume growth.
The second phase of liquid paint plant in Sikanderabad was commissioned.
The company has taken up the formation of new company, Schenck Jenson and Nicholson Sensors Pvt. Ltd. for
manufacture of electronic load cells.
The Company has taken up substantial expansion of powder coating capacity.
Authorised capital increased, 58,600 shares of Rs.10 each at a prem. of Rs.90 per share allotted on conversion of
The Company has achieved a breakthrough in Architectural Segment with launch of `Instacolour` a product which
offers 626 shares, in collaboration with Tikkurila Oy of Finland.
3,00,000 No. of equity shares of Rs.10 each at a prem. of Rs.90 per share allotted on conversion of convertible debentures.
1,93,228 No. of equity shares of Rs.10 each allotted to financial institutions on conversion of loan.
In order to take advantage of the expanding markets in paints the company had entered into a technical collaboration agreement with M/s. Chugoku Marine Paints Ltd., Japan one of the largest international players in Marine Paints, container coatings and heavy duty castings.
A joint venture company viz. Chugoku Jenson & Nicholson Ltd. was formed on the basis of 50:50 with
M/s. Chugoku Paints (Singapore) Pte Ltd. to secure substantial share of the business in marine and heavy duty coatings.
The Company has finally sold its ailing financial services arm, Jenson & Nicholson Financial Services Ltd.
to the Rajarathinam Group.
Calcutta-based Jenson & Nicholson (India) is close to acquiring a controlling stake in two of its suppliers one in Tamil Nadu
and the other in Guwahati.
Mr. Anant P. Sinha has been appointed as Joint Managing Director of the company effective from September 01, 2003. and Mr. J S Chatterjee, Jt. Managing Director has left the services of the Company effective from September 10, 2003
JNIL and Sheenlac formed the JV Jenson & Nicholson Paints Pvt. Ltd. (JNPL) to revive the brand and create a viable alternative in retail Decorative Paints market in India.