History of Lubrizol

Good science leads to a better life

Watch “A Shared Belief” to learn more about Lubrizol’s past and our future.


  • July 28, 1928: Lubrizol begins.  The Graphite Oil Products Company is incorporated in the state of Ohio (USA).
  • September 10, 1929: Lubrizol's first product, a graphited lubricant and applicator marketed under the Lubri-Graph name, is a success. The young company changes its name to The Lubri-Graph Corporation.


  • August 29, 1931:  The Lubri-Graph Corporation moves to the Cleveland suburb of Wickliffe, Ohio. The location will become the company's corporate headquarters and remains so today.
  • February 12, 1934:  As sales of Lubri-Zol special motor lubricant begin to soar, the company changes its name yet again, becoming The Lubri-Zol Corporation. (The hyphen is dropped in the 1940s.)
  • Lubri-Zol establishes Anglamol, Ltd.-later Lubrizol Great Britain, Ltd.-its first affiliate outside the United States and the beginning of its expansion as a global enterprise.
  • Zinc dithiophosphate, Lubri-Zol's pioneering oxidation and corrosion-inhibiting lubricant additive chemistry is introduced to the market.


  • Lubrizol supports the War effort. Government authorities credit Lubrizol with producing more than half of all the engine oil additives and about 80% of all the gear lubricant additives required in Allied military operations.
  • Lubrizol researchers develop and introduce the first multipurpose extreme pressure additive for hypoid gears, along with the first fluid additives for automatic transmissions.


  • Lubrizol becomes the first company to manufacture lubricant additives in France.
  • July 15, 1957:  With the acquisition of International Rustproof Corporation, a producer of metal coatings, Lubrizol gains significant technical expertise in coatings technology-expertise that will increase over the years through numerous research and development initiatives.


  • Lubrizol goes public, with stock offered on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time.
  • Growing concerns about air quality and increasing demand for improved engine performance, lead Lubrizol to re-energize its efforts in fuel additives.  As a result, new, multifunctional dispersant gasoline additives are introduced to the marketplace.


  • Before the 1970s, no one thought about fuel economy. That changed with the gas crisis of 1974.  Lines at gasoline stations stretched for blocks, and for the first time, Lubrizol turns its attention to additives to improve total vehicle economy.
  • Lubrizol introduces super high performance diesel oil additives and fuel saving multigrade gear oil additives.


  • The 1980s are a decade of technology firsts for Lubrizol.  Innovative new additive chemistries are introduced in numerous product areas: passenger motor oils, gear oils, hydraulic fluids and viscosity modifiers.
  • Lubrizol launches high water content fluid microemulsions for use in hydraulics.


  • Lubrizol builds on its long-time presence in Asia Pacific by focusing its efforts in China.  The company begins to supply lubricant additives in China through its joint venture facilities in Tianjin and Lanzhou.
  • Lubrizol continues to expand its presence in the specialty chemical marketplace by making significant acquisitions in the areas of performance coatings and metalworking. In addition, in 1996, the company acquires CPI Engineering Services, Inc., a formulator of specialty synthetic lubricants used in air and refrigeration compressors.


  • June 3, 2004: Lubrizol completes the acquisition of Noveon International, Inc., a specialty chemical company with a strong product portfolio in additives and ingredients for the personal care, performance coatings and engineered polymers markets.
  • Noveon is a transformational acquisition that nearly doubles the size of the company and cements Lubrizol's position as a global specialty chemical company.
  • July 31, 2008: The Lubrizol Corporation celebrates its 80th anniversary. 


  • Sep 16, 2011:  Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and The Lubrizol Corporation announce completion of the acquisition of Lubrizol. Lubrizol becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • August 20, 2013:  Lubrizol opens a world-class additives manufacturing facility in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China. Located at the same facility are the Zhuhai Research, Development and Testing Laboratories.
  • December 30, 2013:  Berkshire Hathaway announces plans to acquire the pipeline flow improvers business of Phillips Specialty Products, Inc. The business, to be known as Lubrizol Specialty Products Inc. (LSPI), will be owned by Berkshire Hathaway with Lubrizol overseeing its strategic direction.
  • In 2014, Lubrizol's CPVC Piping Systems business undertakes a $400 million global expansion of its resin and compounding manufacturing capacity with the startup of a CPVC resin manufacturing facility (Rayong, Thailand); a CPVC resin and compounding facility (Louisville, Kentucky); and a CPVC compounding plant and warehouse (Dahej, India).
  •  In 2014, Lubrizol adds a third business segment.  Lubrizol Oilfield Solutions is an advanced technology solutions provider to all phases of oilfield activity, including exploration, production and transportation. Lubrizol decides to reduce the scope of the oilfield business and wind down the Oilfield Solutions segment in 2017.
  • In 2017, Lubrizol names its first chief sustainability officer, enhancing its focus on responsible, sustainable solutions for customers, employees and communities. 

    The Lubrizol Corporation will continue to grow and prosper by providing innovative technologies to the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Building on decades of chemical knowledge, a powerful global organization and leading positions in the markets we serve, we'll continue to offer our customers the best overall solutions to the challenges of a complex and evolving marketplace.