24th June

The John Brunner Exhibition

1 July 2019 marks one hundred years since the death of Sir John Brunner, 1st Baronet, and to mark the event Catalyst is creating an exhibition showing the life and times of Sir John Brunner.  Focusing on his work with Dr Ludwig Mond, their struggles with the new and innovative method of manufacturing of sodium carbonate, his philanthropy and his political life as a Member of Parliament.

Born 1842 in Everton, Liverpool, John was educated at his father’s school.  In 1861 he entered the service of John Hutchinson & Co., a chemical firm at Widnes (the offices of which are now The Catalyst Museum building!) where he met his friend and future business partner, Ludwig Mond.  Following a series of struggles both technical and financial they eventually started the firm of Brunner, Mond & Co.

By 1881 the company was making steady progress and the partners were able to form a limited company freeing up time to pursue his political career.  BM&Co was one of the four companies which became ICI in 1926, with the sons of the founders having a seat on the Board of Directors.

There is plenty of evidence of the Brunner legacy around Mid Cheshire and Liverpool with libraries, schools and even sports trophies still bearing the Brunner name almost 150 years after the start of the company.  Many will be familiar with the name but few will realise the extent to which this great man gave so much of his time and money for the welfare of the community and his fellow man.

The exhibition will run from 9 July to 31 August 2019.”