VWR International is an American company involved in the distribution of research laboratory products, with
over 1,200,000 items to more than 250,000 customers in North America and Europe. The U.S. division is headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania. VWR ranked #91 in 2006, and #77 in 2005, in Forbes list of largest American private companies. Suppliers include Applied Scientific, 3B Scientific Duracell, Kimberly-Clark, Bel-Art Products, and Welch Allyn. VWR primarily serves the government, biotechnology, life science, education, electronics and pharmaceutical sectors. In 2010, the company maintained operations in 25 countries and processed approximately 50,000 order lines daily from a logistical network, which includes 25 strategically located distribution centers.
VWR was founded by John Taylor as the John Taylor Company in 1852, selling mining and laboratory products. Since then, the company evolved to focus on the laboratory market. It also has a presence in the cleanroom, safety, and clinical markets.
In 1902, it was purchased by F.W. Braun, and merged into his company the F.W. Braun Corporation. In 1908, Braun left the F.W. Braun Corporation, and formed Braun-Knecht-Heimann with Gustav Knecht and Richard Heimann. In 1950, George Van Waters and Nat Rogers purchased Braun-Knecht-Heimann, and in 1953 they purchased the F.W. Braun Corporation, merging with their chemical company Van Waters and Rogers, which they had founded in 1924. In 1974, the VWR United Corporation became Univar Corporation, and in 1986, split into Univar and VWR Corporation.
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