Gerald Gobert founded the Gallwey Chemical Co. Ltd in Deptford, South London. Gallwey bought bulk chemicals, mainly lighter fuel, for repackaging into smaller containers for resale. One of the war-surplus chemicals bought by Gallwey was naphthalene, which was stockpiled during World War II as an antidote to mustard gas. Gerald Gobert discovered that it was also an effective fungicide widely used in Continental Europe in wood preservatives.
Protim Services Ltd was formed to undertake remedial work in buildings, such as wood treatment. At this time, Ernest Gobert, brother of Gerald, joined Gallway after several years working for a timber merchant. Ernest Gobert became an important part of Protimeter’s history as Ernest would become the driving force behind the Protimeter brand and its success.
Protim Ltd was formed by Gallwey to produce and sell only timber preservative chemical solutions. By this time, it was understood that the moisture content of timber prior to treatment was critical to the performance of the preservation process. Gerald Gobert built the first moisture meter to assess the moisture level of timber. He called this instrument Protimeter. Initially, Protim built a few meters for use in their own work. But, as others learned of the technology, primarily building owners, they thought it would be a useful tool for resolving dampness-related disputes with tenants. With that, the market for building inspection moisture meters was created, and Protimeter Ltd was incorporated to make and sell moisture meters.
Gallwey floated on the London Stock Exchange as Protim & Gallwey Ltd.
Protimeter was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Protimeter Plc.
Protimeter Plc was sold to Bowthorpe Holdings, later to be renamed Spirent Communications Plc. Protimeter was incorporated into the Sensing Solutions Division.
Ernest Gobert retires from Protimeter plc. He is credited with changing how moisture in buildings is measured and making Protimeter the innovator and worldwide success it continues to be today. Ernest continued to support the company in a consultant role for several years after his retirement and sadly passed away in 1997.
Spirent sells their Sensing Solutions Division to General Electric (GE).
Advanced Sensors, including Protimeter, was sold to Amphenol Corporation.
Protimeter continues to lead the industry as a moisture meter manufacturer with innovative, dynamic and high performance products, selling globally through a reputable distributor network.