For over 130 years, Intertek has been a pioneer, always leading the industry when it comes to innovation. In 1885 we began testing and certifying grain cargoes before they were put to sea. And in 1896 Thomas Edison became part of our story.

The quality, safety and sustainability pioneers

Following his invention of the light bulb, Edison established the Lamp Testing Bureau, later to become the Electrical Testing Laboratories.

Over a century later, we maintain his ETL mark of quality, and continue to ensure our clients meet regulatory standards to protect consumers and brand reputations across the world.

History of Intertek Video

The Intertek Story

Discover how we've shaped the world of safety and quality for over 130 years.

Our history timeline

The Intertek story begins at the start of the modern testing industry in the late 19th Century. During this period three pioneering businesses in the UK, Canada and North America combined to build the foundation of Intertek, driving its growth around the world.

1880 - 1900

Caleb Brett founds a UK marine surveying business testing and certifying cargoes. Milton Hersey establishes an independent chemical testing laboratory in Montreal and Thomas Edison starts the Lamp Testing Bureau in America.

1900 - 1940

SEMKO is founded in Sweden to provide electrical and electronic product safety testing. Registering the S-Mark it expands across wider Nordic markets. Chas Warnock forms the Chas Warnock Company in Montreal, Canada to inspect steel products.

1940 - 1980

Milton Hersey and Chas Warnock merge to create Warnock Hersey. International group Inchcape enters the testing industry by establishing Labtest Hong Kong. Inchcape acquires multiple testing and inspection companies, ranging from petroleum, petrochemical and textiles to electronics and minerals.

1980 - 2000

Inchcape forms Inchcape Testing Services and acquires Caleb Brett, ETL (Formerly the Lamp Testing Bureau) and Warnock Hersey. Inchcape Testing Services is bought by Charterhouse Development Capital and is renamed Intertek Testing Services.

2000 - 2010

Intertek lists on the London Stock Exchange on 29 May 2002, becoming Intertek Group plc. Intertek enters the FTSE 100 in 2009, acquiring many other businesses during this period including Moody International, to reach over 40,000 employees.

2010 - Present

A time of growth with many acquisitions around the world, new services - Protek, SourceClear, Total Sustainability Assurance and Maison - plus a major Intertek brand reinvention and launch of its AAA Growth Strategy.