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Luminisers Ltd

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Luminisers Ltd applied the luminous marking to instrument dials, such as those found in aircraft, particularly during World War II. The factory was located in Overburn Road, Bonhill, Dumbarton.

The paint used was radium based, and therefore radioactive, and is considered to be a hazardous material today. The paint was also used on clock faces, most notably for Westclox of Dumbarton.

Little is known of the business or factory, other than the possible original architect, John Archibald Campbell (1859 - 1909), which gives an indication of when it came into existence. Luminisers Ltd survived until the middle of the 1970s, when the factory finally closed. The exact location of Overburn Road, the address given for the factory in records found to date, no longer appears to exist, and may have been lost to later development. The map below shows areas such as Overburn Avenue, and Crescent, which may be located in the same general area.

Dalgety Bay, Fife, has been reported to be the site of recurring radioactive contaminated, said to arise from the radium based luminous paint used on the dials of aircraft maintained and eventually scrapped at the Fleet Air Arm maintenance base sited there, RNAS Donibristle.


As a side-note, many aviation museums have stopped allowing visitors any access to the cockpits of wartime aircraft, and have sealed them on the basis of Health & Safety, fearing that the radioactivity emitted from the paint used on the instrumentation could be hazardous to their visitors.

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