The Company in its current form was created in February 1996 from a management buy-out of the downstream operations of Alcan Aluminium Limited and formed a new company, initially called British Aluminium Limited.
In October, 1997 in recognition of the fact that the nature of the business was international and covered a wide variety of metals and other materials, the name of the holding company was changed to LUXFER GROUP.
THE ORIGINAL LUXFER
The Luxfer name is a famous one within the Group, dating back to 1897 when British inventor James Pennycuick, established the Luxfer Prism Company in Chicago to produce glass panels with integral prisms which could capture light from the daytime sky and refract it deep into interior spaces. Such panels would transmit twice the amount of light of an ordinary glass pane, providing safe, low-cost energy efficient illumination for businesses, schools, hospitals, residences and other users.
The name “Luxfer” was created by blending two Latin words, lux, meaning light and ferre, meaning to carry.
The company´s success was immediate, with more than 1,500 installations in 100 U.S.cities reported during the first year of operation. The prestigious Inland Architect magazine reported in 1897: “To characterize this new prism as one of the most remarkable improvements of the century in its bearing on practical architecture, is to speak but mildly. In the opinion of some of the foremost architects of this country, the Luxfer prism is destined to work an entire revolution in planning and necessitate very extensive changes in construction.”
Later in 1897, Luxfer hired an aspiring young architect named Frank Lloyd Wright to design decorative patterns for tiles (one of which, his flower” pattern, is shown above and is now a popular “collectors´ item). Luxfer obtained patents in Canada, Mexico, Russia, India, Australia and Europe, and licensed its technology for production and sales through locally owned syndicates in several countries. On May 11 1898 Luxfer established its first overseas subsidiary: The British Luxfer Prism Syndicate, Limited, in London.
Early in the new century, Luxfer began producing metal casements for windows - its first metal products and a harbinger of the future.
1914-1918 During World War I, the British government called upon Luxfer´s London operation to use its metal-forming capabilities to produce screw pickets to support barbed wire on battlefields. Soon after the war, Luxfer added metal fasteners and formed-metal construction components to its product line.
1929 The name of the British branch of the company was changed to Luxfer Ltd., reflecting its growing diversification into products other than glass prisms.
1939-1945 During World War II, Luxfer Ltd in England used its steel finishing expertise to produce a variety of armaments and military products capable of withstanding harsh battlefield environments. In 1941, a French company, Société Métallurgique de Gerzat (SMG), used hot-extrusion technology to produce the world´s first seamless aluminum cylinders for gas containment. (SMG was acquired by Luxfer in 2001 and became known as Luxfer France.)
1950´s Luxfer developed a new process called cold-indirect extrusion, an engineering milestone that changed the course of the company.
1958 Using its proprietary technology, Luxfer introduced the world´s first cold-extruded, seamless, high-pressure aluminum cylinders. The company´s first cylinder manufacturing plant opened in Nottingham, England.
1965 Luxfer sold its remaining non-cylinder product lines to concentrate on its rapidly expanding cylinder business and changed its name to Luxfer Gas Cylinders.
1972 Luxfer opened its first aluminum cylinder manufacturing plant in the USA in Riverside, California. In collaboration with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, inventor of the original Aqua-Lung® diving equipment, pioneering undersea explorer and chairman of U.S. Divers, Luxfer produced the world´s first aluminum scuba tank.
1974 Luxfer Gas Cylinders was acquired by Alcan.
1997 One hundred years after its inception the “LUXFER” name is adopted as the name for the technology group formed from the downstream businesses of British Alcan Aluminium of which Luxfer Gas Cylinders was one.
From its two main predecessors, Alcan and The British Aluminium Company, today's Luxfer Group inherited a rich legacy of expertise in the metallurgy of light metals and the manufacturing processes to produce specialist materials. The core companies in the Group, Magnesium Elektron, MEL Chemicals, Luxfer Gas Cylinders have pioneered the use of aluminium, magnesium, zirconium and carbon for over 70 years and have an unrivalled understanding of the application of these materials.
Over the past decade the Group has shown a major commitment to new product and manufacturing innovation, improving manufacturing efficiency and working closely with customers to develop new solutions to their product needs, particularly in the environmental, healthcare and protection market sectors.
LUXFER GROUP - a global materials technology company.