YEAR EVENT
1828 Michael Nairn began manufacturing heavy canvas sailcloth in Kirkaldy, Scotland. The canvas was sold to manufacturers of floorcloth, the precursor to linoleum.
1847 Michael Nairn begins manufacturing painted linoleum floorcloth, licensing a patent from the inventor, Frederick Walton. Local skeptics called the new enterprise “Nairn’s Folly,” but after Nairn adds the use of ovens to the manufacturing process to reduce production time, the factory is able produce faster than its competition.
1851 Nairn exhibited his Scottish Floorcloth at the Great Exhibition at London’s Crystal Palace.
1858 Michael Nairn Sr. dies. Michael Nairn & Company continues to expand, run by his wife and sons.
1862 Nairn’s Floorcloth wins juried award at the London Exhibition.
1867 Michael Nairn Jr. commissions British ornament specialist Owen Jones, one of the most influential design theorists of the 19th century, to create a floorcloth pattern.

Nairn’s Floorcloth wins a juried award at the Paris Exhibition.

1870 Nairn builds a 6-storey factory in Kirkaldy.
1877 Frederick Walton’s patent on linoleum production expires.

Kirkaldy is the largest producer of Linoleum in the world.

The product name ‘Linoleum’ has become so dominant in the market, it is believed to have been the first ever genericized product name (like ‘Kleenex’ or ‘Band Aid’)—only 14 years after its invention.

1880s Nairn’s business expands to England, France, Germany, and later, the United States.
1883 Michael Nairn patents a process to produce linoleum, marking the first of nearly 500 United States patents granted to companies affiliated with what is now Congoleum.
1886 Nairn establishes a U.S. branch of the company in Kearny, New Jersey. Nairn ships over many Scottish employees to help establish the new factory.
1902 The United Roofing and Manufacturing Co. in Erie, Pennsylvania produced “Congo” roofing, named for the asphalt it utilized from the African Congo.
1903 United Roofing and Manufacturing Co. expands their facilities and creates floor runners. To differentiate between the Congo roofing and the flooring material, the flooring was given the name Congoleum.
1906 The Nairn manufacturing process is improved to allow for colorful geometric shapes in a variety of patterns.
1911 Congoleum creates rug borders and area rugs, sold under the Congoleum Gold Seal Brand as an inexpensive alternative to traditional floor coverings. Barrett Co. of Delaware officially acquires United Roofing Manufacturing Co. and becomes Congoleum Co.

The company begins advertising in magazines to reach a broader consumer audience.

1920 Congoleum acquires Farr & Bailey Manufacturing Co., a linoleum factory in Camden, NJ, and opens a plant in Marcus Hook, PA.
1923 Congoleum purchases the Salem, New Jersey, plant of the Salem Manufacturing Co. for additional felt-base production.
1924 Congoleum Corporation acquired Nairn Linoleum Manufacturing Corporation and changed the name to Congoleum Nairn Inc.
1933 Vinyl plastic floor covering is first presented to the public at the Chicago World’s Fair.
1939 The Salem, NJ, plant closes and moves production into the Marcus Hook facility.
1940 Congoleum Nairn is the leading producer of felt-base, smooth-surfaced floor coverings.
1943 Production resumes at the Salem plant and continues until 1953.
1948 Congoleum Nairn introduces Congowall, an economical, printed enamel felt-based wall covering which resembles tile, but is much easier to install, and becomes popular with do-it-yourselfers.
1951 Congoleum Nairn acquires Delaware Floor Products, Inc., a Wilmington, Delaware producer of vinyl plastic tile, sheet-vinyl coverings for sinks and counter-tops, and felt-based floor coverings.

Congoleum Nairn begins producing rubber tile and desktop linoleum.

“Floor Show!” commercial spot for manufacturing linoleum airs on the television show “Industry on Parade”—the first TV commercial in history specific to flooring.

1953 Congoleum Nairn acquires Sloane-Blabon Corp., a floor covering manufacturer.
1957 Congoleum Nairn begins focusing more on asphalt and vinyl plastic tile, installing the largest rotogravure press in the world at the Marcus Hook facility.
1960 Congoleum Nairn is granted 40 patents in a single year.
1968 Congoleum Nairn is first to sell No-Wax floors, originally introduced as shiny vinyl allowed customers the comfort of cushioning, realistic designs and easy maintenance.

Congoleum Nairn is purchased by Bath Industries, a major ship building operation and changes the company name to Congoleum Industries.

1970 Congoleum Industries introduces the Chromabond Protection System for superior stain and mildew resistance in floor covering.

Over 400 different patterns and colors in flooring are in production, the most in the industry

1975 Bath Industries changes the name to Congoleum Corporation.
1980 Congoleum becomes a privately-held company.

Introduces the Scuff Tuff wearlayer which offers a high gloss, urethane finish with exceptional scuff resistance.

1986 Hillside Industries assumed ownership of Congoleum Corporation.
1987 Switches from hazardous solvents to water-based inks to help reduce pollution in the atmosphere.
1990s Introduces Bac-Stop mildew protection to every flooring product, helping prevent discoloration due to mildew, bacteria and alkali.
1995 Congoleum Corporation becomes a publicly traded company.

Introduces Futura, the flagship product of ‘a new generation of residential flooring’; Forum Wood Plank, a vinyl tile sold in plank form with a realistic natural wood color and grain; and Ultraflor, a higher-priced, ultra-durable vinyl sheet for manufactured-housing builders

2003 DuraCeramic, a patented revolutionary Luxury Vinyl Tile is introduced into the market.
2004 Congoleum Corporation is the first company in the industry to fuse Scotchgard Protector into the wearlayer to provide easy cleanability and durability.
2008 Congoleum Corporation introduces its line of AirStep products which allow the flooring to stay flat.
2010 Congoleum Corporation becomes a private company.
2012 Congoleum Corporation breaks ties with American Biltrite and becomes a new private company.
2013 Launches Structure, a fashionable luxury vinyl tile and plank collection.
2014 Launches Timeless, a luxury plank and tile collection of on-trend color and designs.
2015 Introduces ArmorCore, a resilient sheet line for residential builders and multi-family property. In addition, the revolutionary QuikStik UnderFlor, a self-adhesive underflor for floating resilient installations was developed and introduced.
2016 Triversa, a 100% waterproof resilient plank collection was developed and introduced.

Congoleum is proud of its strong and iconic past, energized by the future and as always, unwavering in its commitment to quality, design and innovation.