James Hardie

1851 - 1920

James Hardie and Andrew Reid
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

James Hardie and Andrew Reid

Entrepreneur. Born in Linlithgow, where Hardie worked for a time in the family tannery. He emigrated for Australia, settling in Melbourne. In 1888, he set up a business to import machinery and chemicals for the leather industry. In 1892, he was joined in this business by Andrew Reid (1867 - 1939), who had known Hardie in Scotland.

Hardie was noted for his sound commercial judgement and this was complemented by Reid's energy and vision. Hardie retired in 1911 and sold his half of the business to Reid. James Hardie Industries Ltd, was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1951. In the following years, the company built up a diverse range of building and industrial products. Today, the company concentrates on building materials and operates around the Pacific Rim (including the USA) and in Europe. It employs more than 2,500 people and has revenues exceeding AU$1.5 billion per annum.

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