Dr Hermann Simon was born in Mainhardt, Germany in 1900.

Hermann Simon's ambitions were not those of his father who was a Country Doctor and from 1910 - 1920 he studied in Stuttgart living at the home of his uncle and aunt in Stuttgart. For the whole of this period he had his own chemistry laboratory in the house.

After graduation his joined the company "Zimmer" in Berlin. They were manufacturers of bitumens, coating and other building industry products.

Hermann Simon's successful industrial career in Gemany was cut short by the impending second world war and he left Germany with his wife and two daughters in 1938. He was fortunate to be offered a job in England and a small stake in Spic & Span Shoe Polishes, a small company in Stafford.