Sheppy Adhesives

Sheppy AdhesivesPaul Stevens has produced a wonderful website outlining the fascinating industrial history of this concern ...

Sheppy Adhesives: Glue is our Business

An established manufacturer of quality adhesives, Sheppy made a comprehensive range of products for a wide range of applications. As well as supplying adhesives to the packaging and print industries, Sheppy also produced and supplied the more traditional adhesives for craftsmen and the fine art and antiques business.


In 1847 the Stevens family started to manufacture fertilisers by producing superphosphate from bones.
In 1860 they traded as Stevens Son & Co and purchased the 'Queenborough Chemical & Copperas Works' engaged in the manufacture of sulphuric acid by the Lead Chamber process using crushed pyrites.
In 1882 they purchased the old factory at Queenborough, at this time known as 'Queenborough Chemical and Copperas Works'. By the end of 1886, they were manufacturing there a range of organic manures, super phosphate, sulphate of ammonia, bone glue, tallow and degelatinised bone.

In 1887, William Cotes became the company's Glue Production Superintendent - a position he was to hold for many years. His son Harold, however, only worked in the company's Glue Department for a short time as he was destined for a much greater career. Largely instrumental in forming the internationally-renowned British Glues and Chemicals Limited - one of the largest producers of glues and gelatine in the world - Harold Cotes eventually became its Chairman.

A number of patents had been sought by the Stevens family from as far back as 1896 and it was Francis Hugh Stevens who patented a pioneering method of waterproofing glue joints using formaldehyde.

Under the supervision of Dr Ernest Miroslav Vyner, one of the directors, 'Sheppy Glue & Chemical Works' patented a number of developments between 1941 and 1958 that would spearhead the adhesives industry - including the invention of a more efficient way of extracting animal fat and collagen from meat and bone that came to be called the Vyner Process.

The Second World War

In August 1942, the Government formed a company known as Fabon Ltd. Sheppy Glue & Chemical Works Ltd became members of this government sponsored company for the duration of the war. The Company's glue products were sold under the name of Fabon Ltd, to standards of quality set by Fabon. One of the local customers for glue was Bowaters of Sittingbourne who produced jettison fuel tanks to enable our Spitfire fighters to give cover to bombers during raids over Germany. These tanks were constructed by laminating kraft paper with glue, making a very rigid construction. The glue lined the inside of the tank to form an impervious barrier against the petrol escaping and a water resistant lacquer was applied to the outside to prevent the rain from delaminating the glue.


The Adhesives plant was eventually closed at Queenborough in the Autumn of 2012.


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