Tag Archives: varnish

1961 List of Paint Companies in Mitcham

From the Kelly’s Directory of 1961

(manufacturers of paints, varnishes, enamels & industrial finishes).

115 Phipps Bridge road. Merton SW19—
Tel. MITcham 7070

Bomacel Ltd.
Homewood works. Homewood rand,
Mitcham. surrey—Tel. No. MITcham 4861

(Proprietors. R. J. Hamer & Sons
(Paints) Ltd.)

Manufacturers Of Burrell’s High-Grade Paints, Varnishes, Distempers, Enamels.
Anti-Corrosive & Anti-Fouling Compositions &c.;
Contractors to British Admiralty, War Office, Air Ministry, Post Office,
Crown Agents for the Colonies & the principal Railway & Steamship Companies.

Miles road, Mitcham. Surrey
Telegrams & Cables, “Diagoras, Mitcham”;
Telephone MITcham 3011 (7 lines)

(makers of all kinds of paints, varnishes & enamels.
Western rd. Mitcham, Surrey
– Telephone No. MITcham 3422;
T A Duragloss Mitcham

Manufacturers of “Aristocrat” Enamels & Syntheic Finishes.
“Pedigree” Hard Drying Gloss Paint & Varnishes,
“Perfecto” Water Paint, Japans, Lacquers, & Industrial Finishes.
“Contractors to H.M. Government, Borough Councils &c.”

Miles Road, Mitcham, Surrey.
Grams. “Enterprise, Mitcham”
Phone. Mitcham 2064/5, 4046/7 & 3011/2/3

(Royal Warrant Holders during five reigns).
Merton, London SW19 – MITcham 7070

326 Western road SW19 –
T N MITcham 1133 (4 lines)

(paints, varnishes, stoving, synthetic & cellulose enamels).
Prince George’s rd
Merton Abbey SW19
Tel. No. MITcham 1575

Church road, Mitcham, Surrey
(T N MITcham 4444; T A Thospar Mitcham)
& (London depot) 190 Iverson rd NW6
T N KILburn 0614

Purdom Geo. & Co. Ltd.
96 Church rd.


Joseph Orange, Colourman

As reported in the Mitcham & Tooting Mercury of 1st December, 1916, at the Military Service Surrey Appeal Tribunal, Mr J. Latham, varnish maker:

appealed for Mr Orange (38). He was engaged at colour grinding, and they were only half through a contract. They also did work for the Indian Government. A little investigation showed that Mr Orange was really a good “oddman,” and the firm had not another oddman like him. Mr Orange also was quite sure it was impossible for himself to be replaced. It had been tried with old men of 65 and even with feminine material, but the thing could not be done.

The appeal was disallowed, and Mr Orange had to go by 31st December. He was conscripted on 10th December 1916 to the Royal Flying Corps.

Born in Rotherhithe, he was listed in the 1911 census as living in 5 Albert Terrace, Palestine Grove, with his wife Eliza, 33, daughter Florence, 9, and a son, also called Joseph, aged 7.

G. Purdom & Co., Ltd.

96 Church Road


Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

Eric Montague, in his book Mitcham Histories: 8 Phipps Bridge, page 79, said that he interviewed the works manager in 1966. The manager told him that he had heard it said that the work was originally mostly during the winter months and so local Gypsy and other casual workers were employed.

Montague goes on to say that the gates to the firm had written on them Established 1842, which he doubts, although this photo from Merton Memories photo taken on 4th April 1974 has copied this as fact.

1860 ad

1860 ad

Text of ad:

Important to BUILDERS and PAINTERS.
Genuine White Lead, 31s. per cwt.
Linseed Oil, 2s. 2d.; Turps, 2s. 10d. per Gallon.
Fine Oak Varnish, 7s. 6d. per Gall.
Dry and Ground Colours, Brushes, &c, &c, for Cash, at
G. PURDOM’s, 20, Kings-road, Chelsea, S.W.
Every Article requisite for the Trade at Wholesale Prices.

Daniel Judson & Son

From Grace’s Guide – 1914 who’s Who in Business:

JUDSON (DANIEL) & SON, Household Dyes, Paint, &c., Manufacturers, 31, Macks Road, Bermondsey, London, S.E.
Varnish Factory, Church Road, Mitcham, Surrey.
Hours of Business: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Established in 1806 by Daniel Judson.
Specialities: Straw Hat Dyes, Household Dyes, Paints, Judson’s Washable Water Paint, and Varnishes.
Telephone: No. 807 Hop. London.
Telegraphic Address: ” Fluidifico, London.”

R.J. Hamer paints and varnishes

2 Miles Road
Varnish Paints

82 Church Road
Despatch Depot

Borough of Mitcham List of Factories,
Town Clerk’s Department,
July 1963.
Available at Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.
Reference L2 (670) MIT

1953 OS map

1953 OS map

Incorporating J.L. Fordham and Sons (est. 1837) – according to this newspaper ad in 1943 when the company’s protective paints and industrial finishes were mainly being produced for the war effort, but limited quantities were still available for Approved Essential Purposes. Two of their products named were ‘Pedigree’ Hard Drying Enamel Gloss Paint and ‘Perfecto’ Washable Water Paint.

8th June 1943

8th June 1943


1972 phone book Hamer

From the 1961 Kelly’s directory:

Manufacturers of “Aristocrat” Enamels & Syntheic Finishes.
“Pedigree” Hard Drying Gloss Paint & Varnishes,
“Perfecto” Water Paint, Japans, Lacquers, & Industrial Finishes.

From the minutes of Mitcham Borough Council:


—The committee received the following report from the Chief Sanitary Inspector

— To the Chairman and Members of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

May 18, 1937.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Re complaint of fumes from Hamer’s varnish factory, Miles Road, I have made observation in Frimley Gardens as follows:-

May 10th at 11 a.m., no fumes, plant working;
May 13th at 11.45 a.m. to 11.55 a.m., very slight fumes;
May 13th at 3 p.m. to 3.10 p.m., very slight fumes, plant working;
May 14th at 11.30 a.m., no fumes, plant working;
May 15th at 11 a.m., no fumes, plant working;
May 18th ay 11.25 a.m., very slight fumes, plant working.

I have interviewed Mr. Bett, of Messrs. Hamer and Sons, on May 18, 1937, re this complaint and inspected the factory. Mr. Bett informed me that slight fume was unavoidable when the pots were moved. He also said he would be pleased to show any member of the Council the plant in operation.

I am of opinion that by the installation of the plant Messrs. Hamer and Sons have used the best practical means of abating the nuisance.

Yours obediently,
Chief Sanitary Inspector.

Resolved, That the Sanitary Inspector be asked to keep these Premises under further observation, and to submit a further report thereon to the Public Health Committee.

Source: Proceedings of the Council and committees, Mitcham Borough Council, Volume 3 1936-37

Minutes of meetings held by the Mitcham Borough Council are available on request from the Merton Heritage and Local Studies Centre at Morden Library.

Maps are reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Varnish for Maps

Of the companies listed in the 1911 commercial directory of Mitcham, 17 of these were varnish manufacturers.

One of the uses of varnish was as a waterproof coating for maps, as described in this article from 1913.

Waterproof Varnish for Cardboard.

If cardboard is painted with celluloid varnish nice, smooth, washable surface results. This is the varnish with which almost all maps, for land or marine use, are superficially coated, as well as drawings and manuscripts subject to much handling and varying degrees of atmospheric tumidity, even to wetting. The varnishing is effected, either coating the cardboard with the aid of a flat brush and drying in the air, or by dipping. Papers that have been varnished in this way gain after drying 40 to 50 per cent, in strength, and cardboard so treated is perfectly washable, without warping subsequently. Moreover, the coating of celluloid varnish permits the bending of the cardboard in any direction, for it is elastic enough not to break.

Celluloid varnish is made by dissolving celluloid in amyl acetate. The emulsion can be cleaned from waste roll photographic film, and the resultant clean celluloid used. It is simply cut into small bits, placed in the amyl acetate, and allowed to dissolve, shaking occasionally. The usual formula calls for 120 to 150 grains of celluloid to 16oz. of the acetate. But the exact proportion does not matter particularly. Made according to the formula, it is rather too thick, and requires too long to dry. The best way is to let the acetate dissolve about all the celluloid it will take up, and then add nearly enough alcohol to double the bulk of the solution. If too much is added, there will be some of the celluloid thrown down. Made in this way it is much cheaper, dries much quicker, and flows better, being thinner.

—“ Camera Craft.”

Source: Sheffield Weekly Telegraph – Saturday 15 February 1913 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)