The History and Origins of the Old Paint Company ~ G.I.P./Ault & Wiborg



      General Industrial Paints //Ault & Wiborg          

This page is in the process of construction and will be developed when more information on the history of Glasso Paint Products, General Industrial Paints and Ault & Wiborg Paints is received or comes to light.


To some extent we are not certain what logo to show. Show below are the logos that appeared on a 1965 sales brochure. If anyone has a different/clearer logo for General Industrial Paints or Ault and Wiborg we would appreciate a copy.





Additional information to the history of Glasso Paint Products // Ault & Wiborg is most welcome.

      An outline:            

Listed below is a brief history received as of 23/4/05:

Please Note: we have two slightly conflicting stories.

Any clarifications will be gratefully received

      HISTORY 1:   From a 1960's sales brochure            

There were about 20 paint firms operating in Britain in 1800. General and Industrial Paints is one of the new ones which F. W. Burman started at Chiswick in 1927.
At that time the Company was importing high quality German paints for the motor industry. This, says the Company now, is when G.I.P. established its reputation for quality and unrivalled technical service. Now, the Company serves every leading motor manufacturer in Britain and exports -know how" to South America, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and South Africa, Portugal and Holland.
In 1935 there was a move to the present site in Wadsworth Road, Perivale, Greenford, Middlesex, and the name was changed to Glasso Paint Products Limited to match the already well accepted Glasso trade name. Later, in 1951, the name was to be extended to General and Industrial Paints Limited to match the Company's growth into a more comprehensive range of paint activities.
In 1936 the Company built a large new factory. Year by year, extra demand for the Company's products necessitated the addition of more laboratories, more offices, separate buildings. Finally, at the end of last year, Glasso bought a further factory 300 yards from Number One which more than doubled the company's total floor area. The new factory, simply called -Number Two---, took G.I.P.'s vast range of finishes, primers and fillers, sales and store staff and modern delivery fleet.
Production capacity of Number One was immediately expanded.

      HISTORY 2:               

Founded as Glasso Paint Products in the 1920s in Greenford Middlesex to manufacture Glasurit products under license  ~ there were two owners ~ both German.


Extract from a sales giveaway dated September 1950


At outbreak of WWII, one owner (a) returned to Germany, the other (b) chose to take UK nationality and took over the company.


From technical data sheets we know they were still using the name Glasso Paint Products in June 1952 but sometime after this date,  the company name was changed to General Industrial Paints or as its more familiar name G.I.P.


After WWII, the German Glasurit company, which was German paint and lacquer company founded Max Winkelmann in Hamburg in 1888 was acquired by BASF (part of the old IG Farben), while one of the previous owners(a) [we believe his name might have been Maenner?] became one of the founder board members of Hoechst (part of the old IG Farben).




  GIP Sales Brochure for Automotive Division

      In about 1954, (b) sold the General Industrial Paints company to Ault & Wiborg, and ran a stud of horses [some people have no ambition].      

Ault & Wiborg were originally an American company whose main interests were in the printing  business. They were founded in the USA in 1978 and their first  premises in the UK was in 1899 when they opened a branch in St John's Square, Clerkenwell. In 1909 the UK branch was formed into a company in its own right, the Ault & Wiborg London Company [which was still a subsidiary of the American company]. They opened a printing ink company in 1921 in Burnt Ash Hill in south east London.


In 1928 changes took place in the American company and a merger took place between Ault & Wiborg, the Queens City Printing Company and Philip Rushton Inc to form the International Printing Ink Company. The UK company was incorporated as a private company and renamed Ault & Wiborg Ltd.  The UK business started to expand taking over two printing ink companies R. A. Bartlett & Earl Ltd and Stella Bartlett Gravure Inks.


In 1934 the managing director had discussions with International Printing Ink Corp and the American interests were sold out completely. Ault & Wiborg Ltd became an entirely owned British Company. Expansion became rapid and a new factory was built in Watford. In 1939 to augment the metal decoration business which called coatings and varnishes, the old established business of the Willesden Varnish Company was purchased.


After WW II Ault and Wiborg Ltd purchased a number of UK Paint companies ~ the Wembley Paint Company, Associated British Cellulose, Allied Paints & Chemicals, Wilson Blackadder and Company and around 1954 purchased General Industrial Paints Ltd


An artist's impression of the factory at Perivale taken from the Ault & Wiborg brochure commemorating A&W Group's 60th anniversary


The No 2 factory of General Industrial Paints

[ from a 1960 sales brochure ]



The automotive customers from the same brochure


In the mid-70s, GIP sold the "Glasso" trademark and the parrot [not a Norwegian Blue] back to BASF.  Until then, BASF could not sell its international vehicle refinishing brand in the UK. 

      The refinishing division used the name GIPFAST.        

The Perivale plant developed a systems of moveable tanks floating on an air cushion, which gave then a number of advantages on floor space and mobility. This process system seems to have been re-invented in the USA and Germany in the late 1990s


As the factory at Perivale was developed the surrounding area had become part of the London urban expansion and the factory became entirely surrounded by residential property. It was unable to expand and there were growing pressures on the site from the residential community [plus the value of the land for new houses]. In 1987 Hoechst bought the General Industrial Paints refinishing business. The other paint interests were sold off mainly to ICI, particularly the can coatings. 


The A&W refinishing business was absorbed into the UK business plan and the Perivale production of refinishing materials was transferred to the HPG plant at Chadwell Heath.

      Information from an e-mail received from Mike Osborne: Dear John, you may be interested to know that I worked for G.I.P. from 1953 to 1972  prior to joining Berger Paints that year. As I recall the company prior to WW11, was owned by Glasurit with the parrott trade mark. When I joined GIP the MD was Walter Burman of German extraction and was interned during the war. He then took over control after the war and the company became General & Indutrial Paints and kept the parrott trade mark but with the name GLASSO. At some time[and expense] Glasurit sued G.I.P over the parrott symbol and won the case against G.I.P.      
      The A&W refinishing business was absorbed into the UK business plan and the Perivale production of refinishing materials was transferred to the HPG plant at Chadwell Heath.      

Additional information to the history of Glasso Paints / General Industrial Paints / Ault & Wiborg is most welcome.