Ludwig Mond (1839 – 1909) was a German-born chemist and industrialist who took British nationality. After attending schools in his home town, he studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg. He then worked in factories in Germany and the Netherlands before coming to England to work at the factory of John Hutchinson & Co in Widnes in 1862. Here he formed a partnership with John Hutchinson. Shortly after starting work at Hutchinson’s he developed a method to recover sulphur used to manufacture soda. In 1872 Mond got in touch with the Belgian industrialist Ernest Solvay who was developing a better process to manufacture soda. The following year he went into partnership with John Brunner to work on bringing the process to commercial viability.
They established the business of Brunner Mond & Company. Within 20 years this business had become the largest producer of soda in the world.
John Tomlinson Brunner (1842 – 1919) was a British chemical industrialist at Hutchinson’s alkali works in Widnes, there he met Ludwig Mond, with whom he later formed the chemical company Brunner Mond & Co. Their initial capital was less than £20,000 (£1.6 million in 2016) most of which was borrowed. After its slow start, Brunner Mond & Company became the wealthiest British chemical company of the late 19th century. On its merger with three other British chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) in 1926, it had a market capitalization of over £18 million (£940 million in 2016.
Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was formed by the 1926 merger of Great Britain’s four major chemical companies: Nobel Industries Ltd.; Brunner, Mond and Company Ltd.; United Alkali Company; and the British Dyestuffs Corporation.
Information courtesy of Bob Wilson.