Johns Manville is an American corporation based in Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

 that manufactures insulation
Building insulation
building insulation refers broadly to any object in a building used as insulation for any purpose. While the majority of insulation in buildings is for thermal purposes, the term also applies to acoustic insulation, fire insulation, and impact insulation...

, roofing materials, and engineered products. The stock was included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow Jones Industrial Average , also called the Industrial Average, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index, and one of several indices created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow...

 from January 29, 1930 to August 27, 1982 when it was replaced by American Express
American Express
American Express Company or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Three World Financial Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The company is best...

. Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is an American multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, United States, that oversees and manages a number of subsidiary companies. The company averaged an annual growth in book value of 20.3% to its shareholders for the last 44 years,...

 bought the company in 2001. Chairman & CEO Jerry Henry retired in 2004; Steve Hochhauser became Chairman, President & CEO. Todd Raba succeeded him in the summer of 2007; Raba came from Mid-American Energy Holdings, another Berkshire Hathaway company.

Manville, New Jersey
Manville, New Jersey
Manville is a Borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 10,344. Manville was named after the Johns-Manville Corporation, which maintained a large manufacturing facility in the borough for decades.Historically, many of...

 is named for the company; it had a large plant in the borough.


The company was founded as the H. W. Johns Manufacturing Company in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in 1858 as an early asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

 manufacturer of roofing materials.

The Manville Covering Company was founded in Wisconsin in 1885 by C. B. Manville. C. B. Manville's grandson was the much-married socialite Tommy Manville
Tommy Manville
Thomas Franklyn Manville, Jr., universally known as Tommy Manville , was a Manhattan socialite and heir to the Johns-Manville asbestos fortune. He was a celebrity in the mid 20th Century, by virtue of his large financial inheritance, and his 13 marriages to 11 women...


H. W. Johns and Manville merged in 1901 to form H. W. Johns-Manville, renamed Johns-Manville in 1926.

Industrialist Lewis H. Brown
Lewis H. Brown
Lewis Herold Brown was an industrialist.-Early life and career:Born in Creston, Iowa on February 13, 1894, he attended the University of Iowa in 1915. Brown served in France as an infantry captain during World War I. After the war, Brown was employed by Montgomery Ward and was promoted to...

 was president
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 of the Johns-Manville Corporation in the 1930s.

The Canadian branch of the corporation was involved in the extremely violent Asbestos Strike
Asbestos Strike
The Asbestos Strike of 1949, based in and around Asbestos, Quebec, Canada, was a four-month labour dispute by the asbestos miners. It has traditionally been portrayed as a turning point in Quebec history that helped lead to the Quiet Revolution...

 in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 in 1949.

The company actively marketed its insulation services through a range of materials featuring Rosemary Melcher in 1978.

The corporation also faced major class action
Class action
In law, a class action, a class suit, or a representative action is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court and/or in which a class of defendants is being sued...

A lawsuit or "suit in law" is a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint...

s in the 1980s based on asbestos-related injuries such as asbestosis
Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory and fibrotic medical condition affecting the parenchymal tissue of the lungs caused by the inhalation and retention of asbestos fibers...

 and peritoneal mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the name given to the cancer that attacks the lining of the abdomen. This type of cancer affects the lining that protects the contents of the abdomen and which also provides a lubricating fluid to enable the organs to move and work properly.The peritoneum is made of two...

. When Manville filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1982 amid growing thousands of lawsuits related to asbestos
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals used commercially for their desirable physical properties. They all have in common their eponymous, asbestiform habit: long, thin fibrous crystals...

 as well as a defective wall system, it was the largest company in United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 history to have done so. The filing shocked financial analyst
Financial analyst
A financial analyst, securities analyst, research analyst, equity analyst, or investment analyst is a person who performs financial analysis for external or internal clients as a core part of the job.-Job:...

s, but a few, such as Gary J. Aguirre
Gary J. Aguirre
Gary J. Aguirre is an American lawyer, former investigator with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and whistleblower. After working in a law firm briefly, he became a public defender, then worked as a trial lawyer in California. Having reached his professional and financial...

 had predicted the filing and had forced Manville to post a bond to guarantee payment to their clients.

The bankruptcy was resolved by the formation of the Manville Trust to pay asbestos tort
Asbestos and the law
This article concerns asbestos-related legal and regulatory issues. Litigation related to asbestos injuries and property damages has been claimed to be the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history...

 claimants in an orderly fashion by giving the trust the lion's share of the equity in the company. The bankruptcy took over 5 years to process and resulted in protracted litigation. The Manville Trust is still in operation today.

The company emerged from Chapter 11 in 1988 as Manville Corporation.

In 1997 the company changed its name back to Johns Manville, the name under which it does business today.

In 2001, Johns Manville became a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A, BRK.B).

External links

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