A BRIEF HISTORY

1879

ILFORD is founded by Alfred Hugh Harman as Britannia Works making Gelatine Dry Plates in the basement of his house.

1891

The company became known as the Britannia Works Co. Ltd.

1898

The company goes public and Alfred Harman (then aged 50) retires from active control, possibly due to ill health, but continues to provide his expertise and experience for several more years.

1902

The company is renamed to become ILFORD Limited after the town of Ilford in Essex, UK, where the company was based.

1945

The ILFORD works is hit in the “London Blitz” during WWII.

1959

ICI take control of ILFORD.

1963

Ciba AG, Switzerland, acquire shares in ILFORD beginning a commercial co-operation between Ciba and ILFORD to develop Ciba's dye-bleach print material (for making prints directly from colour transparencies). Originally called Cilchrome ('Cil' derived from the names Ciba, ILFORD and Lumière) the eventual product name was Cibachrome.

Ciba built a new plant in Marly, just outside Fribourg (home of Tellko AG) to coat Cibachrome (renamed ILFOCHROME in 1992). The old Tellko factory in the centre of Fribourg was used as the finishing department. Marly is still home to ILFORD Imaging.

1967

ICI and Ciba acquire all shares in the company.

1969

Ciba acquire all ICI shares in ILFORD to become sole owner of ILFORD Limited.

1970

Ciba merges with JR Geigy to become Ciba-Geigy.

1976

The site in Ilford, Essex is closed and the Headquarters are moved to Basildon, UK

1982

Lumière, who were acquired by Ciba-Geigy in 1962, become known as ILFORD France. Lumière Imaging remains to this day a key distributor for ILFORD in France.

1983

The ILFORD UK headquarters move to Mobberley, Cheshire.

1989

ILFORD is acquired by the USA-based International Paper company, owners of graphic arts materials manufacturer Anitec.

1990

ILFORD and Anitec merge to become ILFORD Anitec.

1992

Ciba-Geigy, no longer having any stake in ILFORD, require the Cibachrome name be changed. The announcement of the name change from Cibachrome to ILFOCHROME Classic was announced by ILFORD at the 1992 PMA show in Las Vegas.

1996

The sales and admin offices move from London to Mobberley, Cheshire.

1997

International Paper sells ILFORD to Doughty Hanson & Co.

1998

ILFORD become ILFORD Imaging Ltd on 1st January under new owners Doughty Hanson & Co.

ILFORD enter the mass inkjet consumer market with the launch of the PRINTASIA Inkjet Photo Range of papers.

2000

ILFORD launch the GALERIE Inkjet Photo Range of paper and media.

2004

ILFORD Imaging celebrate 125 years of photographic manufacturing.

ILFORD Imaging UK Limited go into receivership.

2005

ILFORD Imaging UK are subject to a management buyout, which results in the formation of HARMAN technology Ltd in February 2005. HARMAN continue to use the ILFORD name for traditional black and white products.

In July 2005 Oji Paper, a 130-year old company based in Tokyo, bought ILFORD Imaging Group's Swiss operations which It produces inkjet products and high quality colour photographic products under the name ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH and includes the GALERIE and Printasia ranges.

2010

In May 2010, ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH are bought by Paradigm Global Partners LLP.

2011

ILFORD announce the launch of BioMedia, a range of recyclable, biodegradable and incineration-friendly commercial wide format media and pick up the SGIA Product of the Year Media-Vinyl category.

ILFORD announce a final production run of ILFOCHROME Classic in response to declining market demand attributed to the expanding popularity of digital image making.

2012

ILFORD announce the transition of their popular GALERIE range into 5 star GALERIE Prestige as well as launch the 4 ½ star GALERIE Premium range.

2013

February - ILFORD acquires CMA Graphix and Colorportal.

April - ILFORD Group AG acquires TECCO GmbH.

 

ILFORD would like to thank Maurice Fisher and ILFORD Photo for some of the historical information of the timeline.