Our Company

Our History

Since 1886, SC Johnson has grown from a small parquet flooring company in Racine, Wisconsin, to a thriving global enterprise with products in virtually every country around the world. Here are a few steps along the way.

 
1886 - 1999
2000 - Present
 
 

1886

Company founder Samuel C. Johnson purchases a flooring business and starts his own company in Racine, Wisconsin.

1888

Samuel C. Johnson develops his first paste wax floor care product, to help consumers care for and protect their homes.

1900

SC Johnson starts offering paid vacations, establishing itself from its very beginnings as a great place to work.

1906

Herbert F. Johnson Sr., son of Samuel C. Johnson, becomes a partner and SC Johnson becomes a family company.

1914

SC Johnson establishes its first international company, in Britain.

1915

Samuel C. Johnson lays the cornerstone for the Racine YMCA, setting a standard for community leadership by the company.

1917

SC Johnson becomes one of the first companies in the United States to offer profit sharing for all employees.

1917

SC Johnson Australia founded.

1920

SC Johnson Canada founded.

1922

Herbert F. Johnson Sr. founds a community fund to unite volunteer agencies - the precursor to the United Way of Racine.

1922

SC Johnson establishes the Johnson Mutual Benefit Association, which supports employee benefits, activities and more.

1927

In a speech, Herbert F. Johnson Sr. summarizes our principles:  "The goodwill of people is the only enduring thing in any business."

1934

Despite the Great Depression, SC Johnson establishes a pension plan for employees - it's among early companies to do so.

1935

H.F. Johnson Jr. leads the Carnauba Expedition 15,000 miles to Brazil in search of a sustainable source of wax for our products.

1937

SC Johnson Brazil founded.

1939

SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed headquarters building opens in Racine, Wisconsin.

1945

Around 200 employees serve in World War II and the company produces millions of units of product for the war effort. Jobs were held for anyone who wanted to come back.

1946

SC Johnson Belgium and SC Johnson France founded.

1950

SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower building opens in Racine, Wisconsin.

1950s

SC Johnson operations founded in Argentina, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines and Venezuela.

1956-58

The Raid®, Glade®, OFF!® and Pledge® brands launch and go on to become trusted, household names.

1959

The SC Johnson Fund, Inc. is established to provide grants that support people, communities and the environment.

1960s

SC Johnson operations founded in Chile, Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand.

1964

As part of SC Johnson’s sponsorship of the 1964 World’s Fair, the company creates the Academy Award-winning documentary film To Be Alive!

1968

SC Johnson opens what will become the world's largest private, urban entomology research center to combat bugs and the diseases they can carry.

1970s

SC Johnson operations founded in the Caribbean, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Korea, Nigeria, Portugal and Taiwan.

1975

SC Johnson voluntarily and unilaterally eliminates chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from our aerosol products, three years before the U.S. mandate.

1976

SC Johnson formally states our values in "This We Believe," which gives all employees a common understanding of our principles.

1979

After more than 40 years of doing so, SC Johnson formalizes its commitment to donate 5% of pre-tax profits to charitable causes.

1979

SC Johnson helps bring to life the documentary Living Planet, which exposes people to the beauty of the natural world and the need to preserve it.

1980s

SC Johnson operations founded in China, Cyprus, Ecuador, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

1980s

SC Johnson continues operating in South Africa, becoming one of the first signatories of the Sullivan Principles.

1985

SC Johnson opens one of the first corporate childcare centers in the U.S.; and it expands continually to ensure there's never a waiting list for employees' children.

1988

"People Who Care" launches and becomes a model organization for encouraging and arranging employee volunteerism.

1990s

SC Johnson operations founded in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.

1990s

SC Johnson leads a national grassroots coalition to promote steel can recycling, resulting in over 5,600 communities recycling empty aerosol cans.

1992

SC Johnson acquires The Drackett Company, bringing Windex®, Vanish® and Drano® into our family of brands.

1998

SC Johnson helps The Nature Conservancy protect two reserves in Brazil's Caatinga ecoregion and create a local conservation organization. 

1998

SC Johnson acquires the DowBrands business, adding Ziploc®, Saran™, Scrubbing Bubbles® and fantastik® to our family of brands.

1998

Sam, Fisk and Curt Johnson retrace the 1935 Carnaúba Expedition, reaffirming the company’s commitment to sustainability and adventure.

 

128 years. Five generations. One family.

Meet the Family
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