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Johnson Matthey celebrates 200th birthday

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Johnson Matthey is celebrating its 200th birthday this year.

The company was founded in London, UK, in 1817 by Percival Norton Johnson as a gold assaying business. At just 25 years old, Johnson established himself in the City of London as an ‘Assayer and Practical Mineralogist’. His pioneering work in assaying (determining precious metal content) and refining precious metals quickly established Johnson’s reputation for the quality and accuracy of his work.

As Johnson’s reputation grew, his business flourished.

George Matthey joined the business as an apprentice in 1838, becoming a partner in 1851. In the early years, Johnson Matthey alloys of platinum and iridium were used to create the benchmark metre and kilogram, as well as standards for imperial measurements.

Today, Johnson Matthey is a global company with operations on all continents and annual sales of more than £3 billion. The company currently employs 13 000 people in 30 countries worldwide.

Last year, Johnson Matthey invested £188 million in R&D projects around the globe.

Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey, said: “This is a very special year for all of us at Johnson Matthey as we celebrate our 200th anniversary. This extraordinary achievement belongs to my colleagues worldwide and to our predecessors. For two centuries Johnson Matthey has been at the forefront of inspiring science. Much of the important work that we do is not visible to the naked eye but the impact of our science is global and profound. This year we renew our mission to make the world a cleaner and healthier place for everyone.”

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