The Chemical Museum

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The Chemical Museum

At a company that’s been around since 1932, sometimes we like to reminisce about “the good ‘ol days”. We keep a few reminders around of when the company was in its youth, and we decided it would be fun to share some of that history with you.

People collect all kinds of things: stamps, coins, artwork, etc. But doesn’t it seem more fitting for us to collect something like, oh say, chemicals?  Sure, it might seem like an odd thing to save old chemicals, but it’s interesting to recall former chemical companies and see how much labeling regulations have changed over the years.

We have a small collection set aside and a little history on each of them. Enjoy our Chemical Museum!

chemical museum

Methyl Green from The Coleman & Bell Company (C & B) in Norwood, Ohio.  C & B was formerly known as National Stain & Reagent Co.  The Coleman & Bell Company was incorporated August 6, 1921. A.B. Coleman was the President and W.H. Bell was the Secretary & Treasurer. Eventually, it became Matheson, Coleman & Bell Company.

chemical museum

Brilliant Yellow from Matheson, Coleman & Bell (MC/B). Division of Matheson Co. Norwood (Cincinnati) , OH; East Rutherford, NJ. Distributed by Laboratory Services: 4024 Rosslyn Dr, Cincinnati, OH. Matheson Gas Products is still in business today.

chemical museum

Chloramine-T from Matheson, Coleman & Bell (MC/B). Additional locations include Los Angeles, CA and Baton Rouge, LA.

chemical museum

Methyl Green from Kodak (Eastman Kodak Co.) in Rochester, NY. In 1946, Kodak created their first color film that photographers could process themselves using newly marketed chemical kits. In 1953, Kodak formed a new subsidiary, Eastman Chemical Products, Inc. In the 90’s, Fisher Scientific acquired Eastman Kodak Company’s organic-chemicals business.

chemical museum

Meta Cresol Purple from John & Johnson. That’s it. There is literally nothing else on the label.

chemical museum

Brilliant Yellow from Hartman-Leddon Co. (HARLECO) in Philadelphia, PA. Harleco is now owned by Merck.

chemical museum

Dextrose from Mallinckrodt Chemical Works (St. Louis, New York, and Montreal). G. Mallinckrodt and Company began in 1867 in St. Louis. They were incorporated in Missouri as Mallinckrodt Chemical Works in 1882. Today, they are known as Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

chemical museum

3’,3”-Dichlorophenol Sulfonephth from Pfaltz & Bauer, Inc. Pfaltz & Bauer was founded in 1900 and was reborn in 1996 under new, aggressive ownership. Our bottle is dated 7/9/93.

chemical museum

Acid Blue from Sigma Chemical Company in St. Louis, MO.  Sigma Chemical Company was founded in 1935 with the production and distribution of a single proprietary chemical: Adenosin triphosphate (ATP). Sigma primarily serviced biochemists.

chemical museum

Carmine from Aldrich Chemical Company, Inc in Milwaukee, WI. Aldrich Chemical Company was founded in 1951 with the production and distribution of a single proprietary chemical: 1-methyl-3-nitro-1-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG). Aldrich primarily served organic chemists. Aldrich Chemical Company merged with Sigma International, Ltd in 1975 forming Sigma-Aldrich Corporation.

chemical museum

Eriochrome Black T from Fisher Scientific Chemical Manufacturing Division in Fair Lawn, NJ. Fisher Scientific was founded in 1902, originally called the “Scientific Materials Co”. In 1955, Fisher established a chemical manufacturing facility in Fair Lawn, NJ. In the 90’s, Fisher acquired Eastman Kodak Company’s organic-chemicals business.

chemical museum

This Johnson Methyl Red tin has been around for a long time. It was purchased by the company’s original owner, John Tucker, and we have not one, but two tins! Johnsons of Hendon was a chemical company in London, England.

chemical museum
chemical museum
2016-10-25T15:10:35+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jordan August 19, 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Would love more information about what happened to MCB, at least for History’s sake!!!

    • admin August 19, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply

      Jordan, we would love to know more, too! Not much information out there on a few of these companies, but some of their old ads are pretty interesting!

  2. John Wey February 21, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Nice collection of chemicals from various manufacturers. As a retired chemist, I remember in my younger days working in labs where the chemicals (especially the inorganic ones) were from mainly three companies: J.T. Baker, Mallinckrodt (I still miss their indented bottles–StorMor–like your dextrose bottle above) and Matheson, Coleman & Bell (MCB). I too would like to know what happened to MCB. Ah, the good old days!

    P.S. Have you managed to obtain any old J.T. Baker chemical bottles?

    • admin February 22, 2017 at 7:15 am - Reply

      We haven’t come across any of the old J.T. Baker bottles, but we’re not counting out the possibility!

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