ICI Metals Division
of Kynoch Works, Witton, Birmingham, 6. Telephone: Birchfields 4848. Telegraphic Address: "Icimetal, Telex, Birmingham". (1937)
1920 The parent company changed its name to Nobel Industries; Kynoch retained its own name.
Post-WWI. The end of the First World War presented the company with new opportunities represented by the burgeoning market for the internal combustion engine. In the following decade it became a major supplier of carburettors and radiators for both automobiles and aircraft. This was a buoyant period and there was diversification into new product areas like zip fasteners.
1920 Investment in downstream outlets for their products in the aircraft and motor sectors: holdings acquired in John Marston Ltd, the manufacturers of the world famous Sunbeam cycles and motorcycles as well as radiators and radiator tubes, Amac Ltd. of Aston (motorcycle carburettors) and Excelsior Motor Radiator Co. Ltd. of Leeds (aircraft radiators).
Formation of ICI
1927 Imperial Chemical Industries Limited took over British Copper Manufacturers.
1932 Kynochs installed a hot rolling mill.
1934 The Strip Mill was producing 500 tons a month and annual Rod Mill capacity had soared to 14,000 tons. Another tube mill, Broughton Copper Co of Salford, was purchased.
1935 Witton's own tube mill was commissioned.
In the years leading up to the Second World War ICI Metals was the UK's largest supplier of copper and copper alloys and had significant business in heat exchangers and sporting ammunition.
1937 Non-ferrous metal manufacturers.
1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Brass, Copper, Cupro-Nickel, Phosphor Bronze, "Everdur" and other Non-ferrous Alloys, in Plates, Sheets, Strip, sheathing, Roofing, Guttering, Tubes, Wire, Rods, and Extruded Sections. supplied in all sizes, shapes, finishes and tempers. (Stand Nos. D.503 and D.402)
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers
1939 the company had 11 factories.
WWII: The Company was asked to design, build and operate a new aluminium plant at Waunarlwydd in South Wales.
By 1940 the Company had a new radiator tube factory operational at King's Norton.
By 1941 the Ministry of Supply was building two new ammunition factories at Hayes in Middlesex and Summerfield, near Kidderminster; ICI's Metal Group would operate both. Negotiations were going on to find additional production capacity at John Waddington in Leeds and in several Kidderminster carpet firms.
1941 Porcelain Products of Stourport (ceramic products) was acquired.
In 1942 ICI's Metal Group assumed responsibility for another radiator tube factory at Burton.
Amal was moved into new premises due to fire in December 1943.
By 1943, thousands of extra personnel had been taken on with 20,000 people working at Witton.
By the end of the war, the company had 27 factories on 20 separate sites employing 50,000 people.
1945 Acquired Fyffe and Co of Dundee
Post-WWII. Development of new products continued.
1950s One of the most significant achievements of the company's engineers and physicists was the perfection of the process to produce titanium on a commercial scale.
1953 A plant was set up for surface milling hot-rolled brass strip.
1955 Opened Britain's first titanium smelting plant at Witton.
1958 Opened a zirconium plant.
1960 Opened a beryllium plant.
1960s The company continued to diversify and by the early '60s it was the most important contributor to ICI's profits.
Formation of Imperial Metal Industries
1962 The one hundredth anniversary of the opening of George Kynoch's percussion cap factory; the Division was renamed Imperial Metal Industries Ltd (IMI).
1968 IMI opened the first liquid-metal-cooled vacuum titanium-melting furnace, in Birmingham.
Sources of Information
-  IMI plc
- Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill. Published by Sutton Publishing 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2593-0
- 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
- 1937 British Industries Fair Page 377