The stationers known as the “Papeteries Verilhac freres” was founded in Lyon in
1932 by two brothers, Henri and Robert Verilhac. They came from a family of paper
merchants, with two brothers from the previous generation having set up a family
business selling paper mainly to the southern part of France and the French
overseas departments in North Africa.
From 1932 onwards, they concentrated on producing and selling stationery,
exercise books, and, later on, the Rhodia notebook.
In September 1934, the company, originally located in Lyon, moved to Sechilienne
near Grenoble in the Romanche Valley because of size, labor costs and its
proximity to the paper factories.
In the 1950s, a production unit was set up in southern Algiers. This unit used paper
produced locally, and supplied the substantial North African market.
Loss of the North African market in the 1960s forced the company to continue
expansion in Northern France and internationally.
In 1968, catastrophic flooding in the Romanche valley destroyed 50% of the
Sechilienne plant. The factory was rebuilt and extended, with premises erected on
a new site in Vizille. In 1997, the company was bought by the Clairefontaine Group,
production was transferred to Mulhouse (department number 68) and the new
group Clairefontaine Rhodia was born.
The RHODIA trademark
The Rhodia trademark dates back to 1932 and points to the group’s Rhodian
origins. It predates the other similar trademarks (such as Chimie). Legend has it
that the two Rhodia fir trees symbolize the two founding brothers.
The RHODIA notebook
The Rhodia notebook, originally a sideline for Rhodia, was to become its leading
light. It was designed to provide a high quality notebook for note taking and
immediately overshadowed other notebooks of the period because of its quality
materials and original design (its scored folding front cover). Over the course of
time, it has come to symbolize a notebook of quality.
The orange cover dates back to the standard colors in use at the time of its
creation, and remains unchanged to this day.