We are celebrating our 200th anniversary, making us one of the longest-trading businesses in the FTSE 100 Index.
Since being established in 1817, Johnson Matthey has been at the forefront of inspiring science. Today we are a global leader in technology that makes the world cleaner and healthier.
Starting the business with just £150 of capital, Percival Norton Johnson established himself in London as a gold assayer, with pioneering work determining precious metal content and refining precious metals. In the same year he founded the company, the first bicycle was built, the fifth President of the United States was sworn in, it was the midpoint of the Chinese Qing Dynasty and it was two years before the founding of modern Singapore.
George Matthey joined the company as an apprentice in 1838 and became a partner in 1851. The early days of Johnson Matthey were centered around our precious metals business; key milestones included the production of platinum fabrications in the mid-1800s and pioneering the first gauze catalyst for nitric acid production in the early 1900s.
Two hundred years after the company was founded, we are now global with operations on all continents and annual sales of more than £3 billion. Our science helps enhance people’s lives across the world, with over 90% of our sales coming from technologies that have an environmental, health or sustainability benefit. The important work that we do is not always visible, but the impact of our science is global and profound. In Noble Metals alone, our ultrafine platinum based wire is used in car air bag initiators, our medical components are used in life saving surgery and our gauze catalysts make nitric acid which is used in fertiliser production - essential to grow crops that feed millions of people every day.
Our infographic explores our 200 year journey from pioneers in precious metals to global science leader.