The Atlantic Dyestuff Company was organized in November 1916 in Boston by Albert C. Burrage (1859-1931).  He was a lawyer, politician, mining entrepreneur, horticulturalist and philanthropist
(
see biography).   The main office was located in the 14 story Ames Building which was Boston's first skyscraper.  The photo below of the Burrage plant dates to 1917.

















The company, with a coal-tar dye manufacturing plant in Burrage, Massachusetts, 25 miles south of Boston, was one of the leading American dye manufacturers at the time.  The 40-acre site,
near the present day Hawks Avenue and Pleasant Street, had four factory buildings, an office, hotel and 34 worker cottages.  Charles Curtis was the plant superintendent and Harry Fisher was
the chief dye-testing chemist.  Dyestuffs made in 1917 included Sulphur Blacks, Sulphur Browns, Alizarine Yellow Powder and Paste, Direct Blues, Direct Greens, Azo Fuchsine, and Chrysamine.  
Dinitrophenol and dinitrochloro benzene, intermediates for Sulphur Blacks, were produced.  Business was good and the company increased capital in early 1919 from $500,000 to $1,000,000 for
its expansion plans.  

However the original plant was heavily damaged by fire on March 6, 1919, with property loss in excess of $200,000.  An explosion in the second floor laboratory triggered the blaze.  All
employees escaped. The main building, of concrete structure, had only walls remaining.  Several other buildings were saved by the company fire brigade. The plant had been recently equipped
with new machinery, which was destroyed.   Spontaneous combustion was suspected as the cause of the fire.

The company considered abandoning dyes manufacturing.  However textile mill owners encouraged Atlantic Dyestuff to remain in the business.  Multi-year contracts for dyes, worth several
million dollars, were secured and the owners decided to rebuild.  A new 110 acre site was located in Newington, New Hampshire near Portsmouth. The site was the former L.H. Shattuck
shipbuilding yard.  When the U.S. entered the war, the Newington Shipyard of the Emergency Fleet Corporation was constructed in 1918 to build wooden ships to transport troops and supplies to
Europe.  Eleven ships were launched but never put into service.  Other activities in nearby Portsmouth included the Portsmouth Navy Yard, a submarine base employing 2,500; the Gale Shoe
Company, employing 400; the Shapiro-Wagman Shoe Company; the Morley Button Company and the American Agricultural Chemical Company.  





















The site was located four miles north of Portsmouth, on the south side of the Piscataqua River.  The river is a half mile wide and 27 feet deep at the piers of the property, ample depth for ocean
going ships.  The site was served by the Lakeport branch of the Boston & Maine railroad.  Two miles of railroad track were on the site and the purchase included a dinkey engine and travelling
crane.

The site had existing buildings:  office building, warehouses, machine shops, work shops, blacksmith ship, compressor and power houses, first aid station and even lodging.  The purchase
included a large amount of equipment:  electrical, mechanical,
structural and large stores of building materials.

There were two complete water systems.  One system used salt water for fire protection and the other system supplied fresh water.  The sloped embankment of the site allowed contaminants
to run into the tidal river and out to sea, avoiding contamination of Newington's drinking water.

In early 1920 work began on the new buildings for the production of intermediates and the 30 dyes in the product line.  The company kept the Burrage works running while the new plant was
built.  As the new units came on stream, the old units were moved from Burrage and installed as reserve equipment.  During the phase out of the Burrage plant, an explosion and fire occurred
June 12, 1920, killing two employees.  The manufacturing building was destroyed.

The new plant was completed with an estimated worth of $1.1 million.  Six oddly styled buildings were erected, with sharp peaked roofs and one-sided in appearance.   A description of the plant
is presented in the article below:
Reproduction of Article "New Plant of Atlantic Dyestuff Company", Chemical Age, Vol. 29, No. 5, May 1921, p. 172
"Herbert S. Kimball, A.S.M.E., mill engineer, 75 State Street, Boston, Mass., in cooperation with the production managers of the Atlantic Dyestuff Company, is responsible for the design and
construction of its new dyestuff plant on the Piscataqua River at Newington, N. H..

On the site selected was an extensive system of railroad tracks, several buildings that could be used, and three piers making out into deep  water, where ocean-going cargo craft may come
alongside. Studies of the future growth were made both as regards the equipment installed last year and that for other processes in contemplation.

In cooperating with the owners and the insurance inspection board the type of building was studied as regards permanence, ease of enlargement, fire and explosive hazards, cost, interior
lighting during daylight hours, ventilation and upkeep. A standard type was adopted and several buildings were erected.

The dye manufacturing buildings are of one story with walls of terra cotta tile; the roof loads are carried on reinforced concrete pilasters, which give the rather high walls the desired stability
and take all the load off the terra cotta tiles.

The accompanying isometric view of the works shows the wooden framed saw-tooth roof and also it will be observed that there are no windows in the walls of this type of building. The light and
ventilation are obtained through the roof.

The area of one unit of the dye manufacturing buildings is not over 5,000 square feet; three units will be the final number to constitute one building. There was adopted as a minimum a space of
40 feet between buildings, but in some cases there will be 60 feet.

There are some buildings that do not conform to the standard type, which were designed especially to meet particular requirements.

Fire protection equipment is being laid out by the underwriters in charge of that territory. It is interesting to note that in the chemical manufacturing buildings, sprinklers are not to be installed.

In studying the layout the aim was to devote a single process to one area. Its location was selected with due regard to the degree of hazard of the process, as well as its contiguity to the next
stage of the process of manufacture. The existing piers, extending out to deep water, and the system of tracks, offer facilities for unloading raw material and shipping finished products. These
existing physical  features had considerable bearing on the location of the storehouses for raw material and in turn on the location of the various processes.

Following is a list of the buildings indicated by numbers and letters whereby their location in the plant can be determined by reference to the isometric view:

Standard Type of Construction: (1) and (7), nitration; (2), distillation—this building has a steel frame instead of reinforced concrete pilasters; (3), reduction; (8), grinding and drying; (11), storage;
(13) and (17), sulphur colors (sulphur colors under construction).

Special Buildings: (16), boiler house—modern steel frame structure, at present with temporary roof and walls; (5), nitric acid plant; (18), sulphuric acid recovery plant. As regards (5) and (18),
plans are ready to start construction which involves wood frames with corrugated asbestos cement siding and roofing.

Proposed construction embraces a (35) mixed acid house; (38) storage for nitrate of soda, and (39) laboratory.

Other structures indicated on the diagram are: (A), storage; (B), compressors; (C), boiler house; (D), shops; (F) hospital; (G), hotel; and (H), railroad station (Boston & Maine R. R.)"
Atlantic Dyestuff Company
Newington, New Hampshire Plant.  Click to Enlarge Photos
Plant Location
Atlantic Dyestuff Plant, ca. 1920.   Hospital in Center.
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical
Resources,  Garland Patch Collection of Strawbery
Banke
Atlantic Dyestuff Plant Layout-1920
Sketch:  Chemical Age
View of Nitrators and Workers-1921
Capable of Producing 40,000 lbs. Daily of TNT
Photo:  Chemical Age
Nitration Building with Horizontal Storage Tanks for Acids, ca. 1920.
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical Resources,  
Garland Patch Collection of Strawbery Banke
Distillation Building, ca. 1920
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical
Resources,  Garland Patch Collection of Strawbery
Banke
Sulfur Colors Building, ca. 1920
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical Resources,  
Garland Patch Collection of Strawbery Banke
Interior of Sulfur Colors Building Showing Dye Presscake.
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical Resources,  
Garland Patch Collection of Strawbery Banke
Although it was more common at the time for a dyes manufacturer to sell through dealers, Atlantic Dyestuff organized its own sales force.  Charles H. Stone, formerly with Beckers Aniline &
Chemical Works and National Aniline & Chemical Company, was named vice president and sales manager in May 1919.  In the same year the sales force was increased by hiring Alexander
Walker, son of R.J. Walker (district manager of Charlotte office) and Lloyd R. Leaver, son of B.T. Leaver (district manager of Philadelphia office).  Other salesmen included T. James Brown, E.R.
Saunders, C.C. Burt  and C.S. Fuller who formerly was with the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

Customer service facilities were located in all the major textile centers of the U.S, including Boston, Providence, New York, Philadelphia and Charlotte.  In August 1919, the company opened an
office, laboratory and warehouse in Chicago, which was managed by Samuel J. Hefti.
























In late 1919, the company announced the availability of Atlantamine Green 2G, the chemical duplicate of the competitive colors known as Diamine Green G and Oxamine Green G.  Domestic
intermediates were used in the production.  The purity of shade was reported to surpass that of the German prototypes.   Atlantamine Brown 2G was made available in 1920 as a substitute for
the imported Benzo Brown D3G Extra, one of the largest volume direct dyeing cotton browns.

The first annual salesmen’s convention was held July 1-2, 1920.  The attendees visited the new plant near Portsmouth, New Hampshire where production had started and new equipment was
being installed.  The group toured the Kittery Navy Yard in Portsmouth harbor, inspecting a submarine ,USS S-7, that was put into commission that same morning:


















Those in attendance were A.C. Burrage, Jr., Charles H. Stone, G. Meisel, J. Nachsatz, R.J. Walker, G.R. Stoettner, C.S. Fuller, B.T. Leaver, S.J. Hefti, S.R. Goldsworthy; T. James Brown, L.R. Leaver,
C.C. Burt, W.S. McNab, J.E. MacDougall, W.C. Dodson, H.A. Rodgers and Everett H. Fuller.

At the Sixth National Expositions of Chemical Industries, held in New York City’s Grand Central Palace in September 1920, Atlantic Dyestuff attracted many visitors to its booth with a miniature
azo plant in full operation.  The progress of manufacturing was indicated through the coupling tank, isolation tank, and filter press where the cake of Benzo Purpurine 4B Paste was displayed.  
Final progress through the dryer and grinders, from which the product came out in powder form, was shown.  The well known Atlantic Sulphur Blacks appeared on samples of silk and cotton
hosiery. Samples of various intermediates and other dyes completed the display.

In October 1920 the company announced it was producing Sulphur Black with only 0.1% insoluble matter compared to 0.5% in pre-war products.  This solved eight problems in the customer’s
mill: dusting, rubbing, bronzing, streaking, poor fastness, dye bath sediment, thick dye liquor and spattering in warp dyeing.   

Atlantic Dyestuff produced 9.8 million pounds of finished dyes and chemical intermediates in 1920.

The annual statement of the company, issued in July 1921, showed the officers were A.C. Burrage, president; Chas. D. Burrage, treasurer, and A.C. Burrage, Jr., director.  A.C. Burrage, Jr. also
served on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors of the American Dyes Institute.  Assets were $1.28 million.  Debt was $.71 million, quite large for a small company.  All employees
were presented with insurance policies for $1,000 each.

In December 1921, announcement was made that shipments of Atlantic Patent Black were scheduled to begin January 1, 1922 from the new plant near Portsmouth.  The product was claimed to
be superior to any other Sulphur Black produced, with superior solubility, brilliance, strength, and ability to leave the fiber less harsh.  Atlantic became one of the largest sulphur dye producers
in the U.S.

Atlantole Wool Blue S was introduced to the market in April 1922.  This was an acid dye with good fastness properties and especially suited for piece dyeing.  The company developed a series of
names to denote the colors it produced.  "Atlantic" denoted sulfur dyes, "Atlantamine" for direct dyes, "Atlantene" for developed dyes, "Atlantole" for acid dyes, and "Atlanthrene" for chrome
dyes.  The product line consisted of the following major colors:














H.G. Brown of Philadelphia joined the sales force in May 1922 and visited customers in the eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey Territory.  He was a graduate of the Philadelphia
Textile School and had ten years sales experience in the textile industry.

Charles H. Stone, vice president of the company and in charge of sales, resigned in 1922 to become president of the Textile Alliance, an organization formed to deal with the reparation of
German dyes.

W.R. Smith of Raleigh was named southern sales manager in August 1923 and was based in Charlotte.  He worked previously as Carolina salesman for A. Klipstein & Co. for six years.

In 1924 George R. Stoettner, vice president of the company and manager of the New York office, resigned to establish the Algon Color & Chemical Company on Front St. in New York.  This
company planned to manufacture chemical specialties.

The resignation of  two vice presidents within two years may have signaled some serious problems within Atlantic Dyestuff.  The company lost experienced chemists Paul Logue and Everett H.
Fuller, which slowed the introduction of new products after 1921.   Another promising young chemist, MIT graduate Lawrence A. Flett, left in 1922.  Flett joined the
National Aniline and Chemical
Division  of Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation, where he eventually held over 75 patents in dyes, intermediates, and synthetic detergents.  .Although Atlantic Dyestuff was once the largest
supplier of sulfur dyes in the U.S., its narrow product range could not keep up with that of larger companies such as Du Pont and
Calco.  Vat dyes, with superior fastness properties for cotton,
were becoming available.  Atlantic Dyestuff lacked this knowhow.  In January 1925 the company postponed its dividend payment, as claims of $50,000 were filed with priority claims at
bankruptcy proceedings.  

The company reorganized in 1926 as the Portsmouth Dye and Chemical Company, apparently with Albert C. Burrage, Jr. in a leadership position.  Burrage, Jr. may have tried to use the surplus
intermediates capacity to enter the rubber chemicals market.  He acquired eight U.S. patents (1,734,633-1,734,640) from H.B. Morse in 1929.  These patents covered vulcanization of rubber with
chemicals that Atlantic Dyestuff had the potential of manufacturing.  

Despite all efforts, the small company closed by the time of the Great Depression.  The site was acquired in 1930 by the Atlantic Terminal Corporation and most of the buildings were removed to
make way for an oil depot.  A few of  the odd-shaped buildings with saw tooth roofs still remain on the property of the Sprague Energy  Company which now occupies the site.
Original Building of Atlantic Dyestuff Survives at the Sprague Oil Terminal, 2003.
Photo:  Courtesy NH Division of Historical Resources
Former Atlantic Dyestuff Site Now Occupied by Sprague Oil Terminal
of Newington, NH.  Photo:  1998-USGS
References:

1) "War Plant Gone", The Fitchburg Daily Sentinel (Fitchburg, MA), March 6, 1919
2) “Dye Plant Destroyed”, Bridgeport Standard Telegram, March 7, 1919
3) "Notes of the Trade", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 10, March 10, 1919, p. 18
4) "C.H.Stone To Manage Sales for Atlantic", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 20, May 19, 1919, p. 16
5) "Additions To Atlantic Sales Force", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 15, October 13, 1919, p. 7
6) "Atlantic Dyestuff Co.'s Color Nomenclature", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 6, No. 3, January 19, 1920, p. 21
7) "Atlantic Dyestuff Makes Important Purchase", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 6, No. 11, March 15, 1920, pp. 16-17
8) "Atlantic Suffers Explosion at Burrage Works", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 6, No. 25, June 21, 1920, p. 15
9) “New Plant of Atlantic Dyestuff Company”, Chemical Age, Vol. 29, No. 5, May 1921, p. 172
10) Charles H. Stone, “Technical Sales Service to the Dye User”, Chemical Age, Vol. 29, No. 9, September 1921, pp. 351-352
11) “Notes of the Trade”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 8, August 25, 1919
12) “Atlantic Duplicates Diamine Green G”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 25, December 22, 1919
13) “Atlantic Dyestuff Holds First Annual Salesmen’s Convention”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 7, No. 1, July 19, 1920
14) “Atlantic Dyestuff Co.”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 7, No. 13, September 27, 1920
15) “Atlantic Sulphur Black”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 7, No. 15, October 11, 1920
16) “Atlantic Dyestuff Publishes Its Annual Statement”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 9, No. 4, July 25, 1921
17) “Atlantic To Start Shipments of Patent Black From New Portsmouth Works on Jan. 1”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 9,
No. 24, December 12, 1921
18) “Atlantic Announces Atlantole Wool Blue S”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 10, No. 8, April 10, 1922, p. 288
19) “Atlantic Adds H.C. Brown to Sales Force”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 10, No. 11, May 22, p. 380
20) “American-Made Colors”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 11, No. 11, November 20, 1922, p. 373-377
21) “American-Made Colors”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 11, No. 12, December 4, 1922, p. 411-413
22) “Atlantic Names W.R. Smith As Southern Manager”, American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 12, No. 18, August 27, 1923, p. 620
23) American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 14, No. 1, January January 26, 1925, p. 63
24) "War Village Sale", The New York Times, April 12, 1925
25) “Old Shipyard”, Portsmouth Herald, June 14, 1972
26) Gail Pare, Newington Historian, personal communication, March 8, 2005
27) "Student Chemical Affiliates To Meet", The Portland (Maine) Press Herald, May 3, 1948
28) "Sprague Energy Area Form", New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, 2005

ColorantsHistory.Org is grateful for the research assistance of Nicole Luongo Cloutier, Special Collection Librarian of the Portsmouth Public Library.  We thank Joyce McKay of the New
Hampshire Department of Transportation for supplying valuable information and photos about the site.
Newington Shipyard Workers ca. 1916
Site Acquired by Atlantic Dyestuff for New Plant.  Photo: City of Newington
Atlantic Dyestuff Company
Boston, Massachusetts
ColorantsHistory.Org
USS-7 Submarine Commissioned July 1920
Toured by Staff of Atlantic Dyestuff.  Photo:  US Navy.  Click to Enlarge.
Atlantamine Blue 2BN
Atlantamine Brown 2G
Atlantamine Black E
Atlantamine Cordovan
Atlantamine Green 2G
Atlantole Wool Blue S
Atlantic Black B Extra
Atlantic Black BG Extra
Atlantic Black G extra
Atlantic Black R Extra
Atlantic Patent Black B Ex.
Atlantic Patent Black 2B Ex.
Atlantic Patent Black R EX. Strong
Atlantic Patent Black 2R Ex. Strong
Atlantic Blue (3 Types)
Atlantic Sky Blue GS
Atlantic Maroon
Atlantic Yellow G
Atlantic Yellow R
Atlantic Bismarck Brown AY
Amoskeag Mill and Workers, Manchester, New Hampshire-1909
Possibly Supplied with Dyes of Atlantic Dyestuff.
Photo:  Library of Congress.  Click to Enlarge.
Industries on Piscataqua River Near Portsmouth-1906
Atlantic Dyestuff Lobbies Congress for Tariff Protection
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Atlantic Dyestuff Trade Ad-1919
Click to Enlarge