Ilford Imaging UK Ltd 1898

Company number 00057395. Ilford Imaging UK Ltd was the successor of Ilford Ltd. The business manufactured photograph chemical material.

ILFORD Limited began in 1879 by Alfred Hugh Harman who set up a business in the basement of house in Ilford, Essex. Harman needed clear air to make dry gelatine plates and he set up the Britannia Works and employed one boy named William Rowlinson. His plates were named Britannia. Marion & Co. of Soho Square were employed as Harman's agent after parting company in 1885, Harman changed the name of his plates from Britannia to Ilford. By 1891, Harman's Company was claiming to be the largest manufacturer of photographic plates in the world. Harman retired in 1898 but remained a consultant for a number of years. He died in 1913.

In 1901, the company changed its name to ILFORD Limited and introduced the first ILFORD daylight rollfilm in 1915. In 1928, ILFORD purchased the Rajar Ltd factory in Mobberley, Cheshire but it was not until 1958 that paper coating was concentrated at Mobberley. During the Second World War, ILFORD developed a series of film emulsions with lower graininess and improved sensitivity to light, which led to the RAF requesting 'night' film and aerial reconnaissance. This led to the development of Multigrade paper.

After the Second World War the development of colour film was resumed and in 1948 the ILFORD Colour 'D' film was introduced, to be later renamed as Ilfochrome. ICI became a major shareholder in 1958 and in 1960 ILFORD introduced Ilfocolor, its first colour negative film. In 1965, HP4, the new black and white film was introduced.

In 1966 ICI and CIBA AG, the Swiss chemical firm, acquired all outstanding ILFORD shares and in 1969 CIBA became sole owner when it acquired ICI's shares. CIBA-Geigy sold ILFORD in 1989 to the American company, International Paper who then sold the company to Doughty Hanson in 1997 and who then renamed it ILFORD Imaging.