HistoryTurner & Newall, an asbestos product manufacturer and mine operator, was founded in Rochdale, England in 1871 by brothers John, Robert and Samuel Turner. Originally known as Turner Brothers, the company started off manufacturing cotton, cloth-based packaging, and as one of its claims to fame, was the first company in the United Kingdom to weave asbestos fibers into cloth. After that 1879 innovation, Turner Brothers changed its name to Turner Brothers Asbestos Company.
A 1920 merger with Washington Chemical Company, Newalls Insulation Company and J.W. Roberts led the company to change its name to Turner & Newall. The company grew rapidly throughout the 1930s and 1940s by acquiring Bell’s United Asbestos Companies and several other asbestos insulation companies throughout the U.K. Starting in 1939, Turner & Newall operated an asbestos mine in the country of Swaziland in Southern Africa; the company continued operating the mine until 2001.
After World War II, Turner & Newall became involved in other areas of asbestos product manufacturing: The company acquired the Zimbabwe-based Porters Cement Industries in 1953 and renamed it Turnall Fibre Cement Ltd. – “Turnall” being a combination of the two names “Turner” and “Newall.”
In 1998, the Michigan-based automotive supplier Federal-Mogul Corporation acquired Turner & Newall. But Federal-Mogul was overwhelmed by asbestos-related lawsuits against its new subsidiary and put Turner & Newall into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001.