Our History


Discover how we became a world-class leader in adhesives with a rich tradition of ambition and innovation

From pioneering waterproof boots to launching the first baby diaper with elastic adhesive, our history is full of smart innovation.

Since 1889 we’ve patented over 9,000 technologies covering everything from aerospace interior adhesives to Blu-Tack. And we’ve evolved enormously along the way, growing from a local dye manufacturer to a global industry leader.

The Boston Blacking Company: A great beginning

Bostik was founded as the Boston Blacking Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1889. By the late 1920s this pioneer for the emerging footwear industry had expanded across three continents and employed over 1,000 chemists and technicians.

United Shoe Machinery (USM), an international company providing manufacturing machinery to the shoe industry, acquired Boston Blacking Company in 1929. It became the chemical division of USM for most of the 20th century as the company embarked on international expansion and diversification. This division subsequently came to be known as Bostik Chemical Group.

Growth through acquisition

In 1990, Bostik was purchased by Total, the French oil and gas company. Total carried on expanding Bostik by merging it with its own adhesives affiliates and through acquisitions, gradually brought Bostik among the leading players.

Bostik Findley was formed in 2001 as a result of the merger of two of France’s largest oil and gas companies, Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine, and their two adhesives companies, Bostik and Ato Findley. In 2004, Bostik became the official brand name of the company.

An Arkema company

In February 2015, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Bostik. With this acquisition, the Group reached a new milestone in its development, confirming its ambition to become a world leader in speciality chemicals and advanced materials.

Bostik’s growth prospects have been greatly increased by the opportunities found in the two firms’ complimentary innovation strategies, ideals, and technologies, setting the stage for the success of this high-value venture.

A global leader in adhesives

Today, our worldwide operation in the industrial, consumer and construction markets spans 40 countries across three continents and in 2014 we posted sales of €1.5bn.

We now employ over 4,900 people, with around 500 working as chemists and technicians in our R&D operations, continuing our long heritage of history-shaping innovation. 

125 years of Innovation

In 2014 we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Boston Blacking Company, the successful starting point for our business.

To mark this special occasion in our history and celebrate the role innovation has played in our success, we undertook numerous local events and promotional activities.

Learn more about how we commemorated this momentous occasion with our special 125 Years of Innovation publication.

We continue to pursue innovation just as vigorously as our predecessors and we look forward with confidence to the next 125 years of our history.

Vincent Legros, Bostik CEO


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Bostik Corporate Presentation

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