Our History


  • 1850.The Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Co. is formed. Frederick Grinnell will eventually purchase a controlling interest.
  • 1882.Frederick Grinnell patents "his famous sensitive valve automatic sprinkler....recognised by underwriters everywhere as practically perfect."
  • 1883.An Englishman, Mr (later Sir) William Mather, purchases patent rights to the Grinnell sprinkler for all areas outside North America. His company, Mather and Platt, becomes the father of the U.K. sprinkler industry.
  • 1885.John Wormald, then of the Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation (Manchester, England), wrote the first pamphlet of rules for automatic sprinklers.
  • 1886.Mather and Platt installed the first sprinkler in Australia, at Laycock and Co.
  • 1889.Mr. (later Sir) John Wormald, of Mather and Platt, Ltd., appoints his younger brother, Joseph Dawson Wormald, Australian sales agent for the Grinnell sprinkler head. Along with a partner, Stanley Russell, Joseph Wormald establishes Russell and Wormald business, which continues operating in this name until 1900.
  • 1892.Providence Steam and Gas Pipe Co. is combined with sprinkler manufacturers from New York and Ohio to form the General Extinguisher Co., with Frederick Grinnell as President.
  • 1896.The first sprinkler system installed in New Zealand was at Sargood and Son, Dunedin.
  • 1899.Wormald installed their first system in New Zealand at Northern Roller Mills, Auckland.


  • 1900. Wormald Brothers, predecessor of Wormald International, is formed when Harry Wormald joins his brother in partnership.
  • 1906. The first American District Telegraph company (ADT) sprinkler supervisory system was marketed.
  • 1911. The Wormald partnership became Wormald Brothers Limited.
  • 1919. General Fire Extinguisher Co. becomes the Grinnell Company, Inc.
  • 1941. Wormald Brothers was registered in New Zealand.
  • 1949. Formation of Wormald Brothers Industries Limited as a public company.


  • 1960. Ansul takes off. Over a two year period, they'll design the first easy-to-recharge fire extinguisher, create the market for restaurant hood and duct fire protection, and train NASA's first fire rescue crew. Tyco Inc. is formed as an investment and holding company in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. The two primary holdings are Tyco Semiconductor and the Materials Research Laboratory, which studies materials and devices with applications in the fields of solid state sciences and energy.
  • 1962. The Materials Research Laboratory and Tyco Semiconductor are merged. The business is supported by U.S. Government research contracts. But soon, management recognises the commercial applications of its work and Tyco begins the search acquisitions to develop product, manufacturing and marketing capabilities.
  • 1964. Tyco becomes a publicly owned company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE-TYC).
  • 1976. Tyco has grown to 3,600 employees, with divisional offices across the U.S. when it acquires the largest member of the corporate family to date, Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Company. Grinnell has a network of sales and installation offices throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
  • Wormald acquires Mather and Platt, the company which had created Wormald nearly 100 years before.
  • 1978. Wormald acquires Ansul.
  • 1986. Tyco acquires Grinnell Supply Sales and Manufacturing, a manufacturer and distributor of flow control and fire protection products.
  • 1990. Seven years after a merger between German fire protection leaders Total and walter, the company, now known as Total Walther Feuerschutz, is acquired by Wormald.
  • Wormald International Limited, a US$1 billion contractor and manufacturer of fire protection systems and products, joins the Tyco family. As a result, operation are extended to the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.