In 1939, chemical products to aid the war effort

In the early months of 1939 the efforts of Dr Simon and his sales manager to introduce the ‘Dove’ product range to important customers in the building industry began to have success. The whole of Mr Lawton’s time in the laboratory was devoted to producing small liquid samples as well as panels of concrete, metal, wood etc., coated with the various paints and waterproofing products for despatch with the sales letters.

Mr Lawton recollects that one of the products that was most impressive when demonstrated was a clear fireproofing solution. When small pieces of linen and wood were impregnated with it and then dried out they could not be made to burn.

Dr Simon was convinced that hostilities with Germany would soon occur, and he had all the wooden joists in his house impregnated with his clear fireproofing solution. The work was carried out by Mr Lawton using a stirrup pump to spray on the solution.

John Forman who had been travelling to Germany to visit his parents, met Else, and married her in May 1939.

Marriage of Mr JJE Forman

The start of the of the 2nd World War was declared on 3rd September 1939, and many of the Company's new products became of immediate importance to Britain's war effort.

In November 1939 a meeting of the Directors was held to consider a Company name change. This action became necessary following some remonstrations by a long established company Wailes Dove Bitumastic Ltd., that confusion between the respective company names and products could arise.

At the same Directors Meeting it was agreed to raise the salary of Dr. Simon to £10 per week and that of Mr. Forman's to £8 per week.

The accounts for the year ending 1939 were discussed and from a dramatic increase in turnover from £2000 to £30,000 the company showed its first profit in six years of trading.

The range of “Dove” Branded products was now rapidly increasing and a significant number of these materials were going to prove of great value in aiding the national war effort.

Some of the more important ones were:

Dove Frost Protective

an additive which allowed concrete to be laid under freezing conditions, particularly airfield runways.

Dove Fireproofing Solutions

for treatment of wooden buildings, rafters etc. against incendiary bomb attacks.

Dove Blackout Paints

Dove Insulating Pastes

for water proofing static water tanks.

The tempo of preparations for war began to increase and late in 1939 part of the Glover Street factory was requisitioned and converted into a morgue for possible victims of air raid attacks on Stafford, fortunately, it was never used for this purpose.

Public Buildings in Stafford were being protected by sandbags and their windows were being covered with strips of anti-shatter tape. An efficient 'blackout' was necessary. This could be provided by black fabric for domestic property, but factory roof lights were not so easily dealt with.

Dr. Simon saw the need for a product that could be easily applied to glass roof lights which would allow daylight through the glass yet prevent the emission of electric light at night.

By using a novel combination of a transparent blue paint applied to the windows and coating the electric light bulbs with a transparent pale orange varnish it was possible for factories to meet the stringent blackout regulations relatively simply and cheaply.

Many thousands of gallons of these products were manufactured during the war years. Even with the limited amount of money being spent on advertising a steady stream of orders were now being received.

In March 1939 an enquiry was received from the Bristol Aeroplane Company for an aluminium heat resisting paint for use on their Aero Engines. Dr. Simon decided that this was such an important customer, he would deliver the pint test sample himself and explain, that he had manufactured this product, when he was in Berlin, for a German aircraft firm. After thorough testing “Dove” Aluminium Heat Resisting Paint was approved and in February 1940 a letter was received from the Bristol Aeroplane Company placing the first order for Aluminium paint.

(It is interesting to note that this paint was also authorised for use on the ME109!)