This year marks 70 years since George ‘Monty’ Pratley founded Pratley Adhesives. Established in 1948, the company has since grown into a brand-leading adhesive manufacturer that produces over 1 000 products, including an impressive array of electrical and mineral products. Pratley has filed over 350 patents world-wide and they even have a product on the Moon.
In the early days, the original Pratley office was a small rented garage in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. In 1955, Monty used capital, and some money which he borrowed from his mother, to purchase a building site in Factoria, Krugersdorp, on which a factory and main offices were erected and are presently situated. Today, the site hosts state-of-the-art research and testing laboratories, modern manufacturing facilities and even a fully equipped technical training centre.
Monty initially started out by doing engineering jobbing work for the mining industry. By the early 1960’s Pratley was producing electrical cable glands and junction boxes for both the mines and many local municipalities. Pratley Putty, then known as Pratley Plastic Putty, was developed in the Pratley laboratory at around the same time and eventually put the Pratley name on the world map. The product was the first of its kind in the world and was initially designed to fix and insulate brass terminals located inside cast iron cable junction boxes.
In the late 1960’s the American Space Agency used this product on one of its moon missions, securing the product’s status as the only South African product to have gone to the moon. These days Pratley Putty is used to repair and secure just about anything from swimming pool cracks to repairing the hulls of partially sunken ships and securing radio transmitters onto pangolins backs.
In 1985, two years after the Monty’s passing, his son Kim launched another world adhesive first called ‘Wondafix’. The product was launched at the Johannesburg Zoo where to the delight of the public and media, Kim demonstrated the product’s incredible reliability by standing underneath a 13-tonne bulldozer suspended above his head by a ‘Wondafix’ adhesive joint.
“One of my father’s most unique attributes was his total belief in his ability to succeed. Failure was not in his vocabulary. Much of his tenacity still lives in the culture of the company to this day. I think our policy of producing products that outperform all others on the world market is testament to that.” explained CEO, Kim Pratley. These days the company is also lead by the third generation of family members. Kim is joined by his two sons Andrew and Charles Pratley who play a highly active role in managing the company.
Pratley’s high performance adhesive range includes:
- DIY and industrial epoxies
- Acrylic adhesives
- Anaerobic adhesives
- Hybrid systems
- Special performance industrial adhesives
- Decoupage craft products.
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