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Sherwin-Williams Celebrates 150 years

Sherwin-Williams Celebrates 150 years
America’s #1 Paint Company, #3 in the World driven by founder’s vision: “What is Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well”

January 31, 2016

CLEVELAND, Ohio – January 31, 2016 – The Sherwin-Williams Company (NYSE: SHW) began in 1866.  Founder Henry Sherwin arrived in Cleveland and, within a few short years, invented the first pre-mix paint with an ironclad quality guarantee and a resealable can. These innovations revolutionized the way paint could be purchased, used, and more importantly, reused over time.
Now 150 years later, Sherwin’s inspiring words continue to drive new product innovation with the launch of Paint Shield™ microbicidal paint, the first EPA-registered paint with the power to kill bacteria.
Then and Now
Henry Sherwin used his $2,000 life savings to buy a partnership in Truman Dunham, a distributor of pigments and painting supplies. In 1870, Sherwin organized a paint business with new partners, Edward Williams and A. T. Osborn. The new business became Sherwin-Williams & Company.
Over its “colorful” history, Sherwin-Williams has coated and protected your home, workplace, hospital, roads, bridges, ships and iconic structures including the White House, Golden Gate Bridge, and the Hollywood sign.

“For years, we’ve known that our history – our shared heritage – makes this company unique, remarkable even” said Chris Connor, now Executive Chairman of Sherwin-Williams, after having served 16 years as only the 8th Chairman and CEO in the company’s history.
Our 150th anniversary theme comes directly from Henry Sherwin. In 1916, on the occasion of our Company’s Golden Jubilee, Sherwin said.
“What is Worth Doing is Worth Doing Well.”
“That thinking made Sherwin-Williams one of the most respected companies in the world – and that commitment continues to drive us forward,” said Connor.  “This is a wonderful way to look back and reflect on what has made us great, while appreciating how our core values continue to drive our business forward.”
According to new President and Chief Executive Officer John Morikis, only the 9th CEO in the company’s century and a half history, those core values are the key driver of long-term success.
“ It’s all about Our People, Our Products, and Our Pride. We have a terrific group of dedicated associates that embody the Company’s values of commitment to our communities and reaffirm our Culture of Excellence and Guiding Values: Integrity, People, Service, Quality, Performance, Innovation, and Growth. Henry Sherwin’s words of 150 years ago continue to energize, engage, motivate, and inspire our 47,000 associates around the world in the 120 countries where we offer best in class products and customer service.”
“The Company’s consecutive years of record sales and earnings would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the talented men and women of Sherwin-Williams,” said Morikis. “I’m proud of our accomplishments over the last 150 years and I’m excited about the opportunities ahead. 2016 will be another year for us all to make history and I have great confidence our team will rise to the challenge.”
During the 150th year celebration, Executive Chairman Chris Connor was recognized for an outstanding legacy of leadership.
“I feel remarkably blessed to have worked alongside you these past 33 years, the last 16 as your Chairman and CEO,” said Chris Connor.  “It has been the absolute joy as well as the purpose of my life and I couldn’t ask for better people to have shared this journey. Along the way we set aggressive goals and challenged ourselves to grow and build a global business, always with an eye towards the future. We made advancements in our technology and marketing platforms that fundamentally changed the coatings industry. Our innovations, fueled by a persistent focus on serving the customer, helped sustain a legacy of extraordinary growth year after year.”
“Since 1999, the company’s revenue increased more than 120% to a record $11.3 billion; we expanded our global footprint from 24 to 120 countries; and we added over 1,700 new stores, bringing our total to 4,100. Our stock price grew 1,100% to over $250. All of those accomplishments take a backseat to the real pride I have in the men and women of The Sherwin-Williams Company. None of these achievements would have been possible without your resiliency, determination, professionalism, and focus. We have built a reputation as one of the most respected companies in the world and I’m confident that our best days are still ahead.”
About Sherwin-Williams
Founded in 1866, The Sherwin-Williams Company is a global leader in the manufacture, development, distribution, and sale of coatings and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers.
With 47,000 associates and $11.3 billion in sales, Sherwin-Williams is the USA’s #1 paint company; #3 in the world.
The company manufactures products under well-known brands such as Sherwin-Williams®, HGTV HOME® by Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy®, Krylon®, Minwax®, Thompson's® Water Seal®, Ronseal™, Sayerlack®, Euronavy®, Altax™ and many more.
With global headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, Sherwin-Williams® branded products are sold exclusively through a chain of more than 4,100 company-operated stores and facilities, while the company's other brands are sold through leading mass merchandisers, home centers, independent paint dealers, hardware stores, automotive retailers, and industrial distributors.
The Sherwin-Williams Global Finishes Group delivers a wide range of products to the automotive refinishes, product finishes, and protective and marine markets in 120 countries around the world. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Mike Conway
Director, Corporate Communications
Additional Background
In celebration of its 150th anniversary, Sherwin-Williams will launch global community outreach initiatives. Around the world, associates will bring their “elbow grease” along with buckets of paint and brushes for renovation projects in their local communities, in addition to the Sherwin-Williams 5th annual National Painting Week this spring
Sherwin-Williams Innovation Timeline
1866 Sherwin-Williams begins when Henry Sherwin unexpectedly drops into the paint business.
1873 Paint & Color Works opens at 601 Canal Street; first product: Raw Umber in oil; first color card: ‘Our own colored paints.’
1880 Painter's prepared/SWP, the first successful ready-mixed paint is sold with a guarantee.
1884 Inaugural Sherwin-Williams sales convention Niagara Falls, NY. 
1892 W. H. Cottingham opens first sales agency outside U.S., in Montreal.
1895 Montreal is home to first plant outside the U.S.
1901 Newark, NJ plant opens for export production.
1905 Cover the Earth logo replaces the chameleon.
1916 Sherwin-Williams celebrates 50 years.
1917 Martin-Senour becomes a subsidiary, our first allied brand.
1925 Sherwin-Williams is traded on the American Stock Exchange.
1928 Sherwin-Williams manufactures synthetic resins, Aero Enamels. 
1929 First Latin American store opens, Mexico City.
1930 Sherwin-Williams corporate offices move into Cleveland's Midland Building, part of the three building complex now known as Landmark Office Towers.
1939 Sherwin-Williams color consultant Harry Scheid recommended the well-known “school-bus yellow” as the ideal color for buses for its high visibility.
1940 Buenos Aires plant opens, first in South America.
1941 Sherwin-Williams introduces Kem-Tone®, revolutionary water-based paint. Sherwin-Williams celebrates 75 years.
1950 Super Kem-Tone® is unveiled, our first latex paint.
1958 Sherwin-Williams Tank Clad® earth tones literally cover the earth; the Pan American World Airways exhibit for the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium.
1963 Sherwin-Williams opens Antwerp, Belgium company to market products in western Europe and forms the International Coatings Division.
1966 Sherwin-Williams celebrates 100 years.
1970 Sherwin-Williams introduces Beau Monde®, first comprehensive interior/exterior color palette.
1976 Automotive division formed and Richmond, KY automotive finishes plant opens.
1980 Sherwin-Williams acquires Dutch Boy® paint.
1981 Sherwin-Williams introduces SuperPaint®, first paint with a 10-year warranty.
1984 Sherwin-Williams acquires Dupli-Color Products Co., Inc.
1992 Sherwin-Williams opens 2,000th store.
1996 Kem-Tone® honored as National Historic Chemical Landmark
1999 Christopher M. Connor named CEO.
2003 Krylon Products Group introduces Fusion for Plastic®, a revolutionary coating that bonds with plastic.
2005 Duration Home® zero-VOC base paint introduced.
2009 Garland, Texas plant produces its 1,000,000,000th can of paint.
2013 Harmony® Zero VOC Paint reformulated with exclusive technologies to help reduce common interior odors and promote better indoor air quality.
2014 Sherwin-Williams opens 4,000th store.
2015 Sherwin-Williams launches of Paint Shield™ microbicidal paint, the first EPA-registered paint with the power to kill bacteria.
2016 Sherwin-Williams celebrates 150 years