Colman’s Mustard Van

Build Date 1908
Operators Colmans of Norwich
Status: On display at Holt
Owned By

4807 Colman’s Mustard Van

Jeremiah Colman founded Colman’s of Norwich in 1814, at the Stoke Holy Cross mill on the River Tas, four miles south of Norwich. In 1823 he took his adopted nephew, James, into the business which became J. & J. Colman.

In 1851 J.J. Colman took over the business. By 1865 production had transferred to a large factory at Carrow Road on land at Thorpe Hamlet, bought from the Norfolk Railway to the south of Norwich where the firm still operates today.

From 1855 the firm introduced its distinctive yellow packaging and bull’s head logo, and in 1866 was granted the Royal Warrant as manufacturers of mustard to Queen Victoria. Her Majesty’s household still uses Colman’s today.

By 1909 the company employed 2,300 people and this mustard van would have been in service, having been built in 1908.

In 1938 it merged with Reckitts and Sons of Hull to form the Reckitt & Colman household products conglomerate.

The Colman’s part of the business was demerged in 1995 and Colman’s became part of Unilever UK Ltd.

Colman’s maintains links with Norwich. The founding family are commemorated in street names such as Colman Road (part of the A140 inner ring road), on which is situated Colman’s First and Middle Schools. In addition, the Colman House residence at the University of East Anglia is named after the company and Jeremiah Colman.