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The Ferodo Story

These days it is an accepted thing for high-tech business leaders to say that the foundations of their empires were laid during experiments conducted in garden sheds.

Herbert Frood (1864 to 1 May 1931), English inventor, industrialist, and entrepreneur could unwittingly have been the first to start this trend; because it was in his shed that brake pads were born.

This forward thinker took a contrary view on braking to that of his competitors. Frood:

Concentrated on braking materials and developing a more efficient frictional surface. His competitors focused on the means of placing pressure on the vehicle wheel in the braking system.
His solution was solid woven cotton impregnated with natural resins –brake pads instead of shoe brakes.

After his scientific breakthrough and patenting of the process, Frood went on to found Ferodo. The company Ferodo Limited was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1920, and Frood retired from business life in 1927, just four years before his death at the age of 67.

Ferodo Facts:

  • In 1965 Ferodo was established in Durban.
  • Main products were Ferodo braking material.
  • Other strategic customers were the aircraft industry.
  • Over a period of 20 years, Ferobrake was sold and re-purchased twice by Turner and Newall.
  • In the mid-1980s, the name became one used byTurner & Newall’s distributors of Ferodo commercial vehicle brake linings.
  • Distributors were all independent businessmen, many of whom had been running their specialist businesses for many years.
  • In 2019, Ferobrake still markets Ferodo Automotive products, providing specialised brake, clutch and prop shaft services to the heavy-duty transport industry and servicing the needs of passenger vehicle users.
  • Maxifren, a division of Motus, today manages and distributes Ferodo products across South Africa and Botswana.