The British Oxygen Company was founded in 1886 by Arthur and Leon Brin, initially with the trading name of Brins’ Oxygen Company. They manufactured oxygen using a high temperature barium oxide process developed from work by French scientist Jean Baptiste Boussingault. The main application for gaseous oxygen at this time was in connection with the limelight light sources used in magic lanterns and theatre lighting. A major new market emerged around 1905 with the development of the oxyacetylene welding process.
The company name was changed to the British Oxygen Company in 1906. It grew nationally and internationally through the following decades.
In 1975 the company officially became BOC International Limited, reflecting its success in developing business outside of Britain, and in products beyond oxygen. In 2006 BOC was taken over by the German industrial group Linde.