Two friends, former classmates, had been working at the same company for several years. Suddenly, three days before Christmas, both were fired. They went to lunch. It was a long one. By the time they finished coffee they had decided to start their own business. They had no clients, no products to sell. All they had was a dream. Today, that dream has become Whitford Worldwide. It’s an unusual company. This, briefly, is its story.
Soon after the two founders of Whitford Corporation opened for business, they hired a third friend (and former classmate), equally entrepreneurial in bent. After completing a project in the United States, he returned to his native England. Six months later, he opened Whitford Plastics Ltd. in Cheshire.
From its very beginning, Whitford has taken a global approach to its business — a point of view that has been key to what success the company has enjoyed.
Our First Product: Still Going Strong
March of 1969 witnessed the creation of Whitford’s first product: Xylan® 1010, a matrix coating based on an alloy of engineered polymers. We sold a grand total of five gallons to Xomox Corporation for use on valve actuators. It was designed specifically to solve two problems:
Provide a tough, very low-friction film that could withstand the constant wiping of a rubber seal.
Yet be capable of being cured at temperatures sufficiently low to avoid distorting or blistering the aluminum casting of the actuator housing.It worked. And Xylan 1010 remains one of our most popular products today.