FERRO CORP. is a worldwide producer of specialty materials using organic and inorganic chemistry. It operates principal manufacturing facilities either directly or through wholly owned subsidiaries or partially owned affiliates in 24 countries on 5 continents. Most of Ferro's products—coatings, ceramics, chemicals, thermoplastics, and colors—are formulated and designed to the specific needs of its customers' manufacturing processes. Founded in Cleveland as the Ferro Enameling Co. by Robt. Weaver, the company was incorporated under Ohio laws in 1919. In 1930 the name was changed to the Ferro Enamel Corp. The present name was adopted in 1951. Ferro has been a Fortune 500 corporation since 1972; its corporate offices at 1000 Lakeside Ave. are located in Cleveland, as is its Coating Div. on E. 56th St. Its Corporate Research & Technical Ctr. is located in INDEPENDENCE. Ferro's most important product is frit, the basic ingredient for porcelain enamel and ceramic glaze. Research done during the 1930s at the Cleveland Coatings Div., then the Frit Div., resulted in the development of an industrial process that successfully thinned the inorganic frit so that only 32 grams were needed to cover each square foot, compared with 246 grams by older methods. The Coatings Div. produces porcelain enamel frit for steel and aluminum, ceramic frit and glaze coatings for floor and wall tile and dinnerware, resin-based organic powder coatings and inorganic porcelain enamel powder coatings for metal applications, and specialty glasses. The Color Div., started in 1939, manufactures inorganic pigments, porcelain enamels, and ceramic colors for the plastics and coatings industries. Ferro began global operations in the 1930s, with facilities for frit production in England, France, Brazil and Argentina, and dramatically expanded in the decades after WWII. By 1994, it had operations in 21 nations around the world and reported net sales of $1.2 billion.
For the 1939 New York World's Fair, Ferro commissioned a 74' x 32' porcelain enamel mural executed by Cleveland artist Daniel Boza, which was later displayed in the CLEVELAND UNION TERMINAL and presently presides over the Reinberger Gallery of the WESTERN RESERVE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Ferro: The First Seventy Years, 1919-1989.