In 1883, Benjamin Moore designed a wall coating known as “Calsom Finish.” He designed this product with his elder brother, Robert Moore in a tiny building in Brooklyn, New York. Their operation shot to popularity fast and the brothers achieved profits within their first year of production. In New York, 1889, a Corporation was born and the present New Jersey Corporation appeared shortly after.
In the early stages, Benjamin Moore crafted a personal philosophy that soon became the initial credo of the business. He felt the organization should adhere to “The application of Intelligence to Industry based upon Integrity.” Gradually, these three essential words, “Intelligence, Integrity and Industry,” moved forward to be the company’s essential values.
The businesses’ current Internal Vision dictates these values further as “Leadership, Innovation and Performance.” It is this strong philosophy that creates such a solid founding principle for the company.
Today’s logo, featuring the “M Triangle,” was created in 1925 by L.P. Moore to represent the concept of “Integrity, Intelligence and Industry.” This is the logo given today to staff to wear proudly when they receive their service pins. This principle flows into how the business deals with its customers, suppliers and employees.
The Calsom Finish item was refined in 1892 and next, Benjamin Moore manufactured a new finish called MURESCO. This product was a revolutionary all-in-one ceiling and wall finish that became immediately popular. It became a standard household word and even earned a listing within Webster’s Standard Dictionary.
Benjamin Moore continued to develop innovative products over the years. A flat-finish, lead-free, decorative item called SANI-FLAT was sought after since it could sustain frequent washing. Next, UTILAC came out. This fast-drying enamel became a well-known replacement for dangerous lacquers of the day.
Benjamin Moore and Co. were able to successfully expand in 1897, thanks to the businesses’ exponential growth. Their expansion program was created to bring stellar service to clients. A subsidiary was formed in Chicago over the next decade and a new plant was built in New Jersey along with the purchase of a Cleveland factory.
Canadian roots were formed on September 7, 1906. At the first shareholders’ meeting, Benjamin Moore was elected as company president on September 11, 1906. Benjamin’s half-brother Fred Moore became Treasurer in 1911. He was the managing director of the Canadian branch and in 1937, became the first Canadian residing president. This occupancy established the foundation for what is currently Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited.
The City of Toronto saw the first company established. On January 14, 1907, the plant located on Lloyd Avenue was bought. This became a thriving operation that encouraged the company to open a Montreal warehouse in 1923. Additional warehousing buildings were set up in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Halifax and Vancouver in the 1920s. Originally, the Toronto to Vancouver shipments travelled over 8500 miles on an all-water route through the Panama Canal!
By 1953, the company built its Montreal-based complete factory. By 1962, a third plant was built in Burnaby, BC. By 1991, this plant was relocated to Aldergrove. In the year 2000, the North American company updated their manufacturing.
The plant in Aldergrove transitioned to become the main office and Western distribution center and ceased manufacturing abilities. After ninety-four years of running, manufacturing in the Toronto plant was also finished. Conversely, the Montreal location was expanded into an all-latex manufacturing facility. The Burlington, Ontario plant, formerly known as Technical Coatings Co. Limited, was grown to centralize the solvent-based production.
In December 2000, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. purchased Benjamin Moore & Co. The company acts as a holding company and owns subsidiaries with a variety of interests in many business dealings. Warren Buffet is the Chairman of Berkshire’s Board of Directors.
There are over 275 committed Benjamin Moore & Co. Canadian employees offering their best products and services to consumers, contractors and independent retailers.
During these changing economic days, the business remains focussed on its strategy and vision of strengthening and supporting the independent retain channel while protecting, leveraging and enhancing the Benjamin Moore Brand. This business had developed numerous programs including the Strategic Training Triad for the Retailer, the Signature Store Program and the Painting & Decorating Services Initiative.
The company has used the success of these programs to stay progressive and competitive in the paint market. Branding as “The Colour Experts,” this was created by the company’s first spokesperson, Betty Moore in the 1950s. Moor-O-Matic custom colours were born in the 1960s and by 1970, the Moore’s Colour Matching System.
Canada has recognized Benjamin Moore as its most trusted paint brand. This has been determined via Ipsos-Reid polls in Canada, being one of the most trusted North American public opinion and independent research firms, along with independent research and Reader’s Digest.
Research and Development
The company’s commitment to continuous product testing and scientific development has allowed the admirable and consistent paint products to continually be enjoyed by customers.
There are over 100 chemists, technicians, chemical engineers and support staff working hard to maintain stringent product standards. This crew also creates new items. There are 10 team-based laboratories operated by technical staff at the eighty-thousand square-foot Technical & Administrative Centre.
Every lab features state-of-the-art technology. These instruments focus on a particular area of expertise. Each lab works together to build the Benjamin Moore product formulas. The labs work alongside the manufacturing plants and marketing department to meet the variety of demands from DIY, industrial, commercial and professional markets.
The analytic laboratory focuses on instruments using the highest levels of technology to determine paint formulas for Benjamin Moore product formulations.
The Competitive Evaluations Laboratory offers two testing stations designed to test Benjamin Moore’s exterior product lines along with other competitors. There are more than 20,000 stained or painted exposed test panels monitoring weather extremes for up to fifteen years. These panels are subjected to different analyzing techniques to create new formulas and make better products or update existing formulas. Benjamin Moore also tests competitive products in the lab too to see if they match their claims.
The Central Process Lab is responsible for auditing Benjamin Moore’s product quality. This is on top of the daily batch testing for products on the production line of the Benjamin Moore Plant.
The Latex Coatings Lab and the Solvent Coatings Lab are where these new products are made and tested for enhanced performance. They need to meet or exceed the fierce regulations, client expectations and environmental standards that the company expects.
The Industrial Maintenance Finishes Laboratory creates special, corrosion fighting coatings offering high-performance in industrial settings, on military tanks, in factories, etc.
The Polymer Laboratory is the place where most of Benjamin Moore’s research is conducted. This is the location where the binders for products are improved or made. Most paint businesses create their polymers from exterior places. Benjamin Moore relies on in-house production to offer quality assurance. The binder formulations can be tailored to achieve specific requirements.
Ready-mixed Benjamin Moore colours are checked for consistency factory standards at the Colour Assurance Laboratory. Their exceptional standards are distributed in each one of Benjamin Moore’s paint plants. The lab monitors the chip accuracy of the Benjamin Moore colour cards to ensure complete consistency. This tool helps contractors and homeowners find the perfect shade.
The Colour Technology Laboratory invented the first colour-matching computerized system and this has become the industry standard across the board. This machine is vital for enhancing Benjamin Moore’s colour-matching abilities. Scientists at this lab evaluate and review new technologies and colour matching machines.
The Colour Development Laboratory This location holds the colour prescriptions for the paint. It is responsible for examining the colour formulations to check for consistency with the shades it has while creating new formulations for a variety of products.
The Exterior Testing Facility also called the Testing Farm is the place that 25,000 coating samples are evaluated and studied after extreme element exposure. This data is incorporated into daily research and development. This farm has been designed for accessibility and is located close to where the paint is created and tested in labs.
Every staff chemist can utilize the lab as a place for research and development. The chemists’ staff is encouraged to visit the lab frequently throughout the day to view their coatings and see how they are performing. The marketing and sales employees also utilize the farm to learn specific information on Benjamin Moore items.
The Technical & Administrative Centre is home to the company’s Corporate Engineering, Product Information Centre, Management Information Services, Regulatory Affairs Departments and Information Resource Centre.