Company History

Benjamin Moore began his business venture in 1883, manufacturing a coating for walls called Calsom Finish, with his older brother, Robert M. Moore, in a small building in Brooklyn, New York. A profit was made on operations in that first year and growth of the business came quickly. In 1889, a New York Corporation was formed; shortly thereafter the present New Jersey Corporation was organized.

In his earliest years as founder of the Company, Benjamin Moore articulated a personal philosophy that became the company’s first credo. He believed the company should pursue "The application of Intelligence to Industry based upon Integrity." The three key words of that statement, Intelligence, Industry, and Integrity, were soon adopted as the three core values of the organization. These values are also known today as Leadership, Innovation and Performance, as stated in our Internal Vision. This philosophy continues to serve as the guiding principle behind Company policy.

The "Triangle M" logo in its present day form was developed in 1925 by L.P. Moore, when the concept of "Integrity, Intelligence, and Industry" was expanded to be the guiding principle of the Company in its dealing with customers, suppliers and employees. It signifies the three "I’s" and is still proudly worn by Benjamin Moore employees on their service pins.

In 1892, Benjamin Moore refined the process he originally developed for his Calsom Finish and introduced a new product called MURESCO – a wall and ceiling finish unique for its time. So popular was MURESCO that it became a household name and has found a place in Webster’s Standard Dictionary. Over the years, there followed a number of new and innovative products: SANI-FLAT, a lead free, decorative, flat finish that could withstand frequent washings. Then came UTILAC, quick drying enamel that became a popular replacement for the volatile lacquers of the period.

Due to extraordinary and growing demand for its paint products, Benjamin Moore and Co. launched an expansion program in 1897. This was done to provide proper service to a growing customer base. Over the next ten years, the Company established a subsidiary in Chicago, and built a factory in that city. It erected a plant in New Jersey and purchased a factory in Cleveland.

On September 7, 1906 the Canadian company was incorporated. Benjamin Moore was elected president at the first shareholders meeting held on September 11, 1906. In 1911 Fred Moore, Benjamin’s half brother, became Treasurer and managing director of the Canadian subsidiary. He later became the first Canadian residing president in 1937. This laid the groundwork for what is now Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited. The company was first established in the City of Toronto. The plant on Lloyd Avenue was purchased on January 14, 1907. The operation flourished and a warehouse was opened in Montreal in 1923 and other warehousing arrangements were established in Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon and Vancouver in the ‘20s. Vancouver shipments from Toronto were sometimes shipped via the Panama Canal, an all water route of 8,500 miles.

In 1953, a fully equipped factory in Montreal was built. Still later, in 1962, a third plant was constructed, this time in Burnaby, British Columbia, which later relocated to Aldergrove, British Columbia in 1991. In the year 2000, the North American Company reorganized manufacturing. The Aldergrove plant ceased manufacturing and became the main office/distribution centre for the Western Region. Manufacturing in the Toronto plant also was discontinued after 94 years. The Burlington, Ontario manufacturing facility (formerly Technical Coatings Co. Limited) was expanded to centralize all solvent-based production and the Montreal facility also expanded and became an all-latex facility.

In December, 2000 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. purchased Benjamin Moore & Co. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is a holding company owning subsidiaries engaged in a number of diverse business activities. Warren E. Buffett is Chairman of Berkshire’s Board of Directors. Today Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited has grown to over 275 dedicated employees, committed to delivering the finest products and services to Independent Retailers, Consumers and Contractors across Canada.

With rapidly changing economic times we remain focused on our vision and our strategy of Supporting and Strengthening the Independent Retail Channel and Protecting, Enhancing and Leveraging the Benjamin Moore Brand. In support of this strategy the company has introduced exciting programs like the Signature Store Program, The Strategic Training Triad for the Retailer, and The Painting & Decorating Services Initiative. With the success of these programs the Company remains competitive and progressive in today’s marketplace as The Colour Experts – a claim that traces to Betty Moore, (our first spokesperson), in the 1950s, the introduction of Moor-O-Matic custom colours in the 1960s, and Moore’s Colour Matching System in the 1970s, a world first!

Finally, we are proud that this year, Benjamin Moore has been recognized as Canada's most trusted brand of paint. This recognition was received as part of an independent research and public opinion poll conducted by Readers Digest and Ipsos-Reid Canada, one of North America's leading independent research and public opinion firms.

Research and Development

Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited consistently delivers the quality that customers know and rely on thanks to the rigorous and ongoing scientific testing of all of its products.

More than one hundred chemists, chemical engineers, technicians and support staff maintain Benjamin Moore's stringent product standards. They also develop new products. Our technical staff operates out of ten team-based laboratories at the company's 80,000-sq.ft. Technical & Administrative Centre.

Each lab, equipped with state-of the art instruments, focuses on a specific area of coating expertise. Together, they develop all Benjamin Moore paint formulas. All the laboratories work with our manufacturing plants and marketing department to address the varied needs and demands of the professional, commercial, industrial and do-it-yourself markets.

The Analytic Laboratory uses sophisticated instruments and technologies to analyze new and existing Benjamin Moore paint formulations as well as those of other manufacturers.

The Competitive Evaluations Laboratory tests Benjamin Moore's exterior products, as well as competitive brands, at two testing stations. Weather extremes work their worst on over 20,000 exposed test panels painted (or stained) for up to 15 years. The panels are analyzed to maintain existing formulations or develop new ones. Competitive product claims are tested in this lab as well.

The Central Process Lab audits the quality of all Benjamin Moore products. This is in addition to the batch-testing conducted on products coming off the production line every day at each Benjamin Moore plant.

The Latex Coatings Laboratory and the Solvent Coatings Laboratory develop new latex- and solvent-based coatings. They also continually test and enhance the performance capabilities of existing products while ensuring that these products meet or exceed environmental regulations, customer expectations, and stringent company standards.

The Industrial Maintenance Finishes Laboratory develops high-performance coatings designed to fight corrosion in industrial applications, such as in factories, on tanks, etc.

The Polymer Laboratory is where most of the actual Benjamin Moore research takes place. It is here that almost all of the binders used in our products are developed and/or improved. Most paint companies buy their polymers from outside sources. But our in-house production provides superior quality assurance by allowing us to tailor binder formulations for our specific requirements.

The Colour Assurance Laboratory provides factory standards that ensure the consistency of Benjamin Moore's ready-mixed colours. These standards are distributed to all plants. This lab also monitors the accuracy of all the chips on the Benjamin Moore colour cards.

The Colour Technology Laboratory developed the industry's first computerized colour matching system, which became the industry's standard and continues to enhance our colour matching capabilities. Here, scientists review and evaluate new colour matching equipment and technologies.

The Colour Development Laboratory maintains the prescriptions for colours, and periodically reexamines formulas for existing colours and develops formulas for new colours.

At our Exterior Testing Facility, more commonly known as the Test Farm, we evaluate the performance of over 25,000 coating samples as they do battle with extreme conditions.

Vital Test Farm data can be rapidly incorporated into the company’s day-to-day research and development activities—it is literally just steps away from the labs where Benjamin Moore paint is tested and formulated. The farm is easily accessible to every Benjamin Moore chemist, making it a valuable source of R&D inspiration. Chemists can visit the facility throughout the day to gauge how their coatings are performing. Sales and marketing staff also use the farm as an essential resource for product information.

In addition to the laboratories, the Technical & Administrative Centre is also home to Benjamin Moore's Product Information Centre, Information Resources Centre, Corporate Engineering, Management Information Services and Regulatory Affairs departments.