J. & J. Colman Ltd.

J. & J. Colman Ltd.

The unconfirmed identity of the user of the initials only overprints pictured below is J. & J. Colman Ltd. of Norwich.

Colman’s is an English manufacturer of mustard and other sauces, based at Carrow, in Norwich. Presently an operational division of the multinational Unilever company, Colman’s is one of the oldest existing food brands, famous for a limited range of products, almost all varieties of mustard..

In the early 1800s, Jeremiah Colman began making mustard at a water mill near Norwich in the village of Bawburgh. To create a tangy flavour, he blended brown mustard with white mustard.

Jeremiah founded his company in 1814 and in 1823 he took his adopted nephew, James, into the business which became styled J. & J. Colman.

By 1865 production had transferred to a large factory at Carrow Road where the firm still operates today.

From 1855 the firm introduced its distinctive yellow packaging and bull’s head logo, and in 1866 was granted the Royal Warrant as manufacturers of mustard to Queen Victoria.

From 1896 Sir Jeremiah Colman became chairman. In 1903, the firm took over rival mustard maker Keen Robinson & Co. through which it also acquired the Robinsons barley water and baby food business. By 1909 the company employed 2,300 people.

In 1938 Colmans merged with Reckitts & Sons to form the Reckitt & Colman household products conglomerate.

The Colman’s part of the business was demerged in 1995 and Colman’s became part of Unilever UK Ltd.

As well as mustard, it applies its name to condiments, sauces and other foodstuffs. Colman’s is one of the British icon brands sold around the world through a network of distributors managed by Unilever International based in Leathehead, UK. and Singapore.

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