Industries on Newtown Creek, Separating Brooklyn and Queens, ca. Late 1800's.
The First Synthetic Dye Manufacturing in the U.S. Took Place Here.
Photo:  Greater Astoria Historical Society
The origins of the Brooklyn synthetic dye industry can be traced back to the efforts of Dr. August F. W. Partz, a German chemist who obtained
two U. S. patents in 1857:  one patent for an improved "hydraulic blast generator" and another patent for an improved apparatus for
evaporating liquids and condensing gases.  In the early 1860's, Dr. Partz attempted to manufacture magenta, a dye which was later known as
fuchsine.   A small factory was erected on the banks of Newtown Creek in Green Point.  The one-story frame building was located on the
Brooklyn side of the creek.  Dr. Partz was connected with a German company that was trying to manufacture dyes in the U.S.  The process was
apparently based on importing intermediates from Germany and finishing the final steps in the Brooklyn plant.  The intent was to import a
mixture of aniline and toluidine with arsenic acid , which would be converted into magenta by heating.  It is not known if magenta was actually
produced, but after a short period the venture was abandoned, either due to technical problems or the lack of financial support.  The plant site
eventually became part of the Standard Oil Company in the early 1880's.

Around 1864 Thomas and Charles Holliday, sons of Read Holliday, who began making dyes in England in 1860, came to the U.S. and produced
magenta at a plant along Newtown Creek.  Edgar Holliday joined his brothers in the venture in 1865 at the age of eighteen.  
The Scientific
American
 reported that the operations were in a brick building and that the workers were stained the colors of the rainbow.  This plant
produced the first aniline in the country, in addition to nitrobenzene, picric acid and a line of dyes.  Magenta, which exists as bright bronze
green crystals giving a deep purple solution, was made by oxidizing aniline with potassium nitrate or chlorate.  The equipment in the plant
consisted of a large retort, steam boiler for heating it, and vats for the purification and crystallization of the solutions.  Five pounds of aniline
yielded one pound of magenta, sufficient to dye 600 pounds of silk or 900 pounds of wool.

The firm was called the Holliday Chemical and Color Company.   In the magenta range they produced three hues, which were named the Empire
Red (the dye soluble in cold water), the Keystone (bluish), and the Bay State (reddish).  In the violet range, three hues were made including the
Manhattan (reddish), the Knickerbocker (bluish), and the Humboldt (bluish, more deep).  There were two shades in the blue range:  the Union
(reddish, or deep), and the Washington, (greenish, or "night" shade).

The Holliday business grew and another dye building was erected on Roebling Street.  The Brooklyn operations were part of Read, Holliday &
Sons, with headquarters and main works in Huddersfield, England and branches in France, Mexico, Boston and Philadelphia.  In 1889 Edgar
Holliday assumed control of the company, which was incorporated with $250,000 capital in 1890.  Some dye production was moved to a four
story building at 7 Platt Street in Manhattan, which was completely destroyed in a spectacular fire in 1908.  The business had 20 employees.

By 1882 there were ten synthetic dye companies operating in the U.S.  The tariff act of 1883 lowered duties on dyes imported from Germany.  
The result was the closing of five companies including two firms that had been operating in Brooklyn:  the Empire Aniline Dye Works and the
Hoerlin & Kupferberg company.
Manufacturing chemist William J. Matheson was prominent in the dye industry since 1876 when he became the U.S. sales agent for Leopold
Cassella & Co., a German firm based in Frankfurt.  He subsequently established the dye firm Wm. J. Matheson & Co., with offices in New York
City, and plants at 12th Street in Brooklyn, Hunters Point and Ravenswood in Long Island City.  By 1889 Matheson was also selling dyes made by
the Albany Coal Tar and Chemical Co., the W. C. Barnes & Co. of England, and the Manufacture Lyonaise De Matieres Colorantes of France.

The 12th Street plant in south Brooklyn, erected around 1885, was one of several dye plants located near the Gowanus Canal.  The plant had its
own dock and rail service. The main products of the Brooklyn and Long Island plants were textile chemicals such as stannate of soda, a mordant
or dye fixative made from tin scraps; the “Star Size” sizing agent; Sumac Extract (used as a food acidulant); and some natural and synthetic
dyes.  













Logwood Extract was manufactured at the 12th Street plant by boiling ground up Campeche wood in water. It yielded beautiful grays, blacks,
browns, violets and blues on textiles depending on the mordant used.  Indigo Carmine was prepared by the sulfonation of indigo, yielding a
bluish-green water soluble dye for textiles.

When the Albany Coal Tar and Chemical Co. went out of business in the 1890s, some of its products were transferred to Matheson’s Brooklyn
plant.  By World War I Matheson had retired and closed his Brooklyn and Long Island City plants.  But imports of dyes from Germany were now
suspended, and the resulting dye famine induced Matheson to reenter the business.  In 1918 he became president of the
National Aniline and
Chemical Co., the largest dye manufacturer in the U.S. at the time, with its major plant in Buffalo.

The dye famine sparked the reemergence of the Brooklyn dye industry, with over twenty companies establishing manufacturing plants.  The
companies employed an estimated 1,500-2,000 people and produced millions of dollars of the scarce dyes.  The industry became one of the
largest manufacturing sectors of the Brooklyn economy.  Although the dyes were made primarily for the U. S textile industry, there was good
export business to Asia and South America.  Several pigment companies, such as Harmon Colors,  were also established in Brooklyn around the
same time.

The largest dye manufacturing company was
Beckers Aniline & Chemical Works, which employed 1,200 at its peak.  This company was begun in
1912 by
Dr. William G. Beckers, a chemist from Germany.  The original plant, rudimentary in construction, was located on Underhill Avenue in
Flatbush.  It was wrecked by an explosion in 1914 that killed two chemists.  A new plant was built on a 40-acre site at East 83rd Street and Ditmas
Avenue in the Canarsie area.  The company grew to one of the largest dye firms in the U.S. and was merged into the National Aniline & Chemical
Company  in 1917.  This combined the wool dyes of Beckers Aniline with the cotton dyes of National Aniline, covering the two largest fabrics with
a complete range of colors.  But the commercial success of the dye industry was tarnished when wastewater from the Canarsie plant
contributed to the end of oyster harvesting in Jamaica Bay in 1920.  

Dr. Beckers became one of the wealthiest industrialists of the era and retired in 1920.  He built a 40 room mansion in Lake George, New York
and was the owner of the Sagamore Hotel.   The Brooklyn dye operations were moved to National Aniline & Chemical's larger plant in Buffalo in
1922.  The former main office, a red brick building, is still used today by the KeySpan Energy Company.

Some of the other companies are described below, several of which were located near the Gowanus Canal.:

1)  
Zobel Color Works
This plant was located at 2nd Avenue and 9th Street in Brooklyn, employing 20-30 men.  The product line consisted of a broad range of dyes for
wool, silk and cotton:

Methyl Violet                                            Green Lake
Methylene Blue                                       Blue Lake
Malachite Green                                     Orange Lake
Fuchsine (Magenta)                               Permanent Red
Bismarck Brown R and Y                       Persian Orange
Chrysoidin                                               Scarlet Pulp
Indigotine                                                Cutch Extract
Indigo (Paste and Extract)                     Nigrosine Jet and Blue
Purple Lake                                             Induline
Scarlet Lake                                            Silk Blue
Sulfur Black                                             Congo Red

In late 1918 the company acquired a plant adjoining its site which was previously used for manufacturing animal oils.  This site was about 1.7
acres in size and had several large brick buildings.  Zobel renovated the buildings and installed equipment for dye making to double the
capacity.  The dye market  was strong and the company intended to increase its production of methyl violet and to introduce methyl violet 6B.  
The new plant would also be used to make para-phenylenediamine, saccharine and cumarin.  The expansion plans also included the
manufacture of most of the intermediates needed for the dyes production.

In early 1919, Edward W. Pierce was named vice president and technical director.  He had 21 years experience in the dye industry having
worked for the National  Aniline & Chemical Company and its predecessors.  More recently he had worked for the U.S. Conditioning and Testing
Company, supervising the testing of a large number of dyes produced in the U. S. during World War I.  His experience included both the
manufacture and application of dyes; he even designed, erected and operated a plant for the manufacture of aniline.  But he left Zobel only six
months later to join the Wilmington plant of DuPont.

In September 1930 the Zobel plant, which also produced pitch and chemicals, was destroyed by a spectacular fire. Thousands of residents along
the Brooklyn and lower Manhattan waterfronts watched the flames rise high over the Gowanus section.

2)
H. Kohnstamm & Company
The company was founded in 1851 near the lower tip of Manhattan.  The main product was ultramarine blue for laundry use.   The founders were
two cousins, Hesslein and Heiman Kohnstamm.  In the 1870's a white chip soap and cleaning powders were offered.  During the Spanish-
American War, there was a shortage of food coloring materials and substitution by industrial pigments led to many deaths.  Kohnstamm
introduced its safe and standardized colors and later helped shape federal food and drug regulations.

The company setup an office at 83-91 Park Place, New York and a plant at 537 Columbia Street  in Brooklyn, employing 40 men.  When World War I
started, Kohnstamm added soluble prussian blue, insoluble prussian blue and chinese blue to their product line.  They also made high-class
colors for automotive bodies.  In June 1918, plans were made to erect a new one-story reinforced concrete warehouse, with 6,000 sq. ft. of
space, at the corner of Creamer and Columbia Streets.  The building cost $20,000.

After World War I the product range was diversified to include flavors, extracts, essential oils, and other ingredients for the food and beverage
industry.  By 1959 Kohnstamm products were used in soaps, foods, cosmetics, plastics, and medicines.  The company had plants in Clearing ,
Illinois (near Chicago) and New Jersey (Camden, Kearney and Newark) in addition to Brooklyn.  There was also an alliance with Benzenoid
Organics in Bellingham, Massachusetts.  Kohnstamm was acquired in 1988 by Sensient Technologies Corporation and the Brooklyn plant was
shutdown.

3) Williamsburg Chemical Company,  Inc.
The plant was located at 250 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn.  Their initial product was sulfur black, sold in large quantities to domestic and export
customers.  Sulfur brown, sulfur khaki, auramine and potassium permanganate were also produced.

The company exhibited its dye range at the National Exposition of Chemical Industries held at the Grand Central Palace in New York in
September 1918.  The exhibit was in the charge of sales manager Charles L. Hirsch.  Small dye companies typically had sales agents instead of
their own sales force; H. A. Metz & Co. of New York represented Williamsburg Chemical to textile customers.














In 1918 the Alien Property Custodian seized the company as enemy property and made plans for its sale.  The government claimed that German
interests owned 56 percent of the company.   Company owners Richard G. Blumenthal and Richard Heyder were interned.   In 1927 the Calco
Chemical Company of Bound Brook, New Jersey purchased the company.  At the time Williamsburg Chemical manufactured a group of basic
colors including malachite green, brilliant green, methylene blue ( including zinc free and U.S.P. versions) and safranine.  

4) Commonwealth Color & Chemical Company
The company was founded in 1911 by Ernest S. Wittnebel, an executive with 20 years experience in the chemical industry.  Starting with just six
employees, Wittnebel began the manufacture of chemical specialties and aniline dyes.  Within five years, the plant outgrew its original location
due to the high demand for its products by the textile, leather, paint and varnish industries.  The plant was then established at Nevins, Butler
and Baltic Streets in Brooklyn.  The three-story factory building on Nevins Street was originally a sawmill.  

Paul Nobbe joined the firm in 1921 as vice president and sales manager.  His experience in the dye industry dated back to 1889 and included
assignments with the Bayer Company and American Aniline Products.

Several building expansions were made over the years and acquired companies (Color Service Corporation, Klipstein Color & Chemical Co.,
Newbert Color Co.) were integrated into the operations.  

The product line included direct and developed colors in addition to sulfur dyes for cotton.  A wool green dye was made that competed with a
similar product produced by the Grasselli Dyestuff Corporation at its plant in Rensselaer, New York (see
Rensselaer Dye Industry).  A broad
range of textile chemical specialties was manufactured:  converted starches and gums, sulfonated oils, penetrators, and detergents.

Wittnebel directed the company until his death in 1936 when his son, Augustus S. Wittnebel took over.  Branch offices were located in Boston,
Charlotte, Chicago, Gloversville (New York), Philadelphia and Montreal.  Laboratories were located at Brooklyn, Gloversville, Chicago and
Montreal.

A new 3-story laboratory building was erected in 1938 to house research, manufacturing control and application laboratories for textiles, leather
and allied trades.  A unique feature of the building was a 3-unit diesel plant to produce its own power and light.  Additional chemists were hired
to staff the new facility.

















As part of a post-war expansion program, the company established the Hosiery and Underwear Division in 1946 under the management of
Charles M. Robbins.  Martin W. Mueller was named Director of Research and Technical Service for the new division.  

Commonwealth Color & Chemical Company moved to a modern, streamlined plant in 1949 which was located at 3240 Grace Avenue in the Bronx.  
The move included the laboratories and main office.  The former Nevins Street site in Brooklyn was sold to an office furniture manufacturing
business in the same year.  

The company exited the dye business in 1953.  Arrangements were made with
Nyanza Color and Chemical Co., 109 Worth St. , New York City, to
continue the manufacture and sale of the majority of the products.  Many of the administrative, technical and sales staff transferred to Nyanza.

5) Brooklyn Color Works
The main office was at 601 Sackett Street in Brooklyn and the plant was at 127-133 Cherry Street.  A two-story addition to the plant was planned
in 1921 with S. W. Moore as architect.  The business prospered and additional manufacturing facilities were needed.  In 1937 the firm purchased
the entire block front on nearby Norman Avenue, between Sutton Street and Morgan Avenue.  The property consisted of two-story factory
buildings (30,000 square feet floor area) and was occupied around March 1937.

6) Iridescent Dyestuff & Color Company
The 3-story plant was located at 247-251 Bush Street, Brooklyn.  Dr. A. R. Frintz was a principal in the firm.  M. L. Erdmann was the manager and A.
Lanz the chemist.  The company made magenta and other reds for cotton, silk and leather.  The plant was completely destroyed by fire in
September 1918.

7) Atlas Color Works
The plant was located at Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn and employed 40-50 men.  Production was in two buildings.  Indigotine, chrome
yellow and alizarin were made for dyeing wool, silk and other fabrics.

8)  
Zobel, Stein & Campbell Company
This company had an office at 188 Water Street, New York and made a number of dyes at 615 Degraw Street in Brooklyn.

9) Hoffman & Kropff Chemical Company
The president of the company was Dr. Alfred H. Kropff.  In April 1918 capitalization was increased from $25,000 to $250,000, presumably for an
expansion of the business.  The plant, located at the corner of Porter Avenue and Meeker Street, employed 30 men and made sulfur blacks for
hosiery.  During World War I it was taken over by the government for the manufacture of chemicals to purify water.

10) Standard Color Works
The main office was at 55 Liberty Street, New York and the plant was in Brooklyn.  The dye line included bismarck brown y, acid black, nigrosine,
induline, prussian blues, chrome yellow, methyl violet and chinese blue.

11) Holliday-Kemp Co., Inc.
The company was headquartered at 90 William Street, New York and the plant was in the Woodside section of Brooklyn.  It was established by
Robert W. Kemp, grandson of the founder of the British dye firm Read, Holliday & Sons, Ltd.  Hugh J. McGrane was vice president and Cornelius
Tuynman was a director.
















Acid, chrome and direct colors were made.  Sales offices were located in Philadelphia and Boston.

12) Reliance Aniline & Chemical Company
The plant, located at 24 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, manufactured methylene blue.  F. M. Brinckerhoff was vice president.  The company
issued additional shares of stock in 1920 and had active capital of $126,000 at that time.

13) Algon Color & Chemical Company
This company was founded in 1924 by George R. Stoettner, former vice president of
Atlantic Dyestuff in Boston.  The main office was on Front
Street in New York City and the plant was at 334 Dean Street in Brooklyn.  Dyes and chemical specialties were manufactured.

14)
Harmon Colors
Harmon Colors was founded in 1914 by William Harmon, who set up an inorganic pigment factory in College Point, Long Island.  The company was
incorporated in New York on January 4, 1916.

Around 1924, the operation was moved to 361 Harman Street in Brooklyn where organic pigments for paints and automotive coatings were
made.  In 1936 the company outgrew the Brooklyn location and moved its entire operation to a 45-acre site in Haledon, New Jersey.

15) A. B. Ansbacher & Co.
Adolph B. Ansbacher incorporated this company in 1873 with $25,000 in capital to manufacture dry colors (pigments) for paints and inks.  The
plant was located at North Seventh Street and Union Avenue in Brooklyn.  The company was one of several New York City producers of Paris
green, the common name for copper(II)-acetoarsenite, a highly toxic bluish-green pigment which was also sold as a rodentcide and insecticide.   
Exposure of workers to Paris green caused severe irritation of the eyes and respiratory system, skin ulcers, and anemia.  In 1875 neighbors of
the plant complained that Paris green dust drifted into their yards and homes requiring that windows be shut constantly.  Since Paris green was
so toxic and readily available at paint stores and druggists, it was a popular poison for murder and suicide in the late 1800s.


















Ansbacher became one of the largest manufacturers of dry colors in the country and decided to expand the plant in 1902.  The construction of
the brick building was interrupted when Irish laborers walked off the job, demanding $3.00 a day pay instead of $2.75.  The contractor quickly
hired 100 workers from the Italian neighborhood.  The striking Irishmen were infuriated when they saw the Italians taking their jobs and a battle
erupted with bricks and clubs.  The Italians were routed and took refuge in a building until rescued by police from the Bedford Avenue station.

A warehouse fire in 1919 drove 200 families from their homes in the Williamsburg section and caused $200,000 in damage.  Bernard Bronnbach,
an engineer with the firm, was killed in 1920 when he slipped into a vat of lime while attempting to adjust some pulleys on top of it.

In 1929, A.B. Ansbacher combined with G. Siegle to form the Ansbacher-Siegle Company.  Ansbacher-Siegle was merged into Sun Chemical in
1957; Sun Chemical eventually became a major producer of organic pigments and the largest supplier of printing inks in the U.S.

16) Kent Color Corporation
The F. and M. Schaefer Brewing Company built a brewery at South 9th Street and Kent Avenue in 1915-1916.   Rudolph J. and F. M. E. Schaefer
organized the Kent Color Corporation in 1918 with $25,000 capital.   When Prohibition was enacted in 1920, the brewery made "near" beer and
commercial dyes in order to survive.  Ice was also made for sale.  The
Lion Brewery in Manhattan also switched to dye manufacture during
Prohibition.  When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the Kent Color business was sold to the Calco Chemical Co. and Schaefer returned to
brewing beer.












17) Fred L. Lavanburg Company
One of the earliest pigment (dry color) plants in Brooklyn was the Pfieffer & Lavanburg Co. established in 1886.  The founders were Isaac
Pfeiffer and Fred L. Lavanvburg. The plant was located at 105 Bedford Avenue. The firm, which  pioneered in the manufacture of English
vermilions and other colors, was later known as the Fred L. Lavanburg Co.  Vermilion, a toxic orange-red pigment consisting of mercuric sulfide,
was made by reacting imported quicksilver (mercury) with molten sulfur to form mercuric sulfide.  Another important product was Paris green
(copper(II)-acetoarsenite), a highly toxic bluish-green pigment which was also sold as a rodentcide and insecticide.  Arsenate of lead was also
manufactured.

Fred L. Lavanburg became a wealthy industrialist and was known for his philanthropy.  When he died in 1927, he left an estate valued over $5
million.  Most of the estate was left to charitable institutions, including the Fred L. Lavanburg Foundation.  The Fred L. Lavanburg Homes, an
early low-rent housing project on the lower east side of Manhattan at 124-142 Goerck St., opened in 1927.  The Lavanburg House, a seven-story
building for working girls at 333 E. Twelfth St., opened in 1928.

The business was acquired by Reichold Chemicals, Inc. in 1938 and named the Chemical Colors Division.  Reichhold modernized the plant and
increased the production of iron blues, chrome greens, chrome yellows,  These "Big Three" were industrially the most important dry colors.

With the outbreak of World War II, and the switch of the American economy to war-time production, the Reichold Brooklyn facility became the
source of one-third of the U.S. military's rust prevention primer zinc chromate.  A large line of organic toners and lakes was also produced.

In 1983 Reichold sold the business to NJZ Colors, Inc., a subsidiary of the New Jersey Zinc Co.  The product line included chrome yellows,
primrose yellows, and molybdate orange.  The plant eventually closed and the buildings were demolished in 1996.  In June 2008 construction
was underway at the site to build a 180 unit apartment building.  Neighbors expressed concern about the toxicity of the soil and dust emanating
from the construction site.


18) Ultro Chemical Company
The Ultro Chemical Co. was located at 218-236 46th St., Brooklyn, producing dry color pigments, dyes and intermediates in the buildings shown
in the view of the street today:















The founder was Dr. A. E. Gessler who obtained a Ph. D. in Germany and came to the U.S., joining the
G. Siegle Co. He left in 1919 to establish
the Ultro Chemical Co.  Research was performed by Dr. Gessler, one chemist and one assistant.  The firm was acquired in 1926 by
Zinsser & Co.
and production was transferred to the Hastings-On-Hudson site.  Dr. Gessler was named to the Board of Directors of Zinsser.  

19) Paul Uhlich & Company
Paul Uhlich & Co. was located at 35-37 Herkimer Place,, Brooklyn, producing dry color pigments in the buildings shown in the view of the street
today:  


















The firm was established by Paul Uhlich (1867-1935) in 1906 or earlier and incorporated in 1916.  The office was located at 11 Cliff St. in New York
City.




















The plant was damaged by a fire on December 26, 1921 that forced the evacuation of 40 families from nearby tenements.  Children ran from their
homes in nightclothes, some clutching Christmas presents.  The damage, estimated st $50,000, was repaired.

In 1964 the firm leased, then purchased, a portion of the former
Zinsser & Co. site at Hastings-On-Hudson for the manufacture of pigments. This
operation later became the Uhlich Color Company.  Uhlich Color was acquired by Magruder Color Co. in 2000 but production at the Hastings-On-
Hudson site was later discontinued.

Paul Uhlich came to the U.S. from Germany in 1893.  In 1900 he married Henrietta Madeline Pell of Brooklyn and they had a daughter Susie
Augusta.  He became a naturalized citizen in 1913.  The Uhlichs lived for many years at 90 Eighth Ave., Brooklyn.  Paul Uhlich died on December
23, 1935.  His estate was valued at $645,000.  His will included generous bequests to 25 employees, representing six months salary each.

18) Miscellaneous Dye Companies
Additional dye companies operating in Brooklyn around the World  War I era were Ajax Aniline Works, 184 North 8th Street; British-American
Chemical Company of College Point (destroyed by fire in 1917); Certified Chemical Company on Plymouth Street; Kabrik Dyestuffs and Chemical
Company, 367 Fulton Street; Lake Dye and Chemical Company, 1 Hanson Place; Widder Dye and Chemical Company, 155 Broadway (bankrupt in
1933); and the Standard Phenol Company.   Several other companies were incorporated but were apparently short-lived:  Blythe Chemical
Company, capitalized at $5,000; Garfield Aniline Works, capitalized at $200,000 in 1920; G. B. Palmer & Co., capitalized at $210,000; and Premier
Dyestuff Company, capitalized at $30,000.  




















By 1930 most of the Brooklyn dye companies had closed or were acquired by larger companies that moved the operations elsewhere.  The
Brooklyn companies were generally too small to compete against the larger, more efficient firms such as DuPont,
Calco Chemical (American
Cyanamid), National Aniline & Chemical (Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation), and General Aniline.  Although the plants had a substantial
economic benefit, the noise, fumes and wastewater pollution became objectionable to residents in densely populated Brooklyn and most of the
dye industry faded away.

References:

1) Victor G. Bloede, "Some Early Attempts to Establish the Aniline Industry in United States", Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 16,
No. 4, April 1924, p. 409
2) August Merz, "Early American Coal Tar Dye Industry", Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 22, No. 13, August 10, 1944, p. 1275
3) "Dyestuffs and Chemicals That Are Actually Obtainable", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 1, No. 6,  November 12, 1917, p. 13
4) "Dyestuffs and Chemicals That Are Actually Obtainable", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 1, No. 7,  November 19, 1917, p. 15
5) "The Chemical Exposition", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 3, No. 13,  September 23, 1918, p. 15
6). "The Bayer Co. Sold", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 3, No. 25,  November 16, 1918, p. 12
7) "Zobel Color Works Increases Plant", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 3, No. 26,  December 23, 1918, p. 8
8) "E. W. Pierce Goes To Zobel", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 2,  January 13, 1919, pp. 12-13
9) "Notes of the Trade", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 25,  June 23, 1919, p. 18
10) "Brooklyn Dye Men, In Whirlwind Work Build Great Trade", The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 13, 1918
11) "Commonwealth Shade Cards", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 5, No. 6, August 11, 1919, p. 7
12) "American Made Colors", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 11, No. 9, October 23, 1922, p. 316
13) "Dyestuff Tables", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 14, No. 12,  July 27, 1925, p. 514
14) "Dyestuff Tables", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 14, No. 15,  September 7, 1925, p. 607
15) "Calco Takes Over Williamsburg Company", American Dyestuff Reporter Sample Swatch Quarterly,  July 11, 1927, p. 459
16) "The Story of Commonwealth", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 31, No. 18, August 31, 1942, p. 434
17) William M. Freeman, "The Helping Hand in Many Products", The New York Times, August 22, 1959
18) "Commonwealth Release", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 27, No. 10, May 16, 1938, p. 283
19) "New Commonwealth Laboratory", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 27, No. 24, November 28, 1938, p. 722
20) "Thousands Watch Brooklyn Night Fire", The New York Times, September 18, 1930
21) "Commonwealth Establishes New Laboratory Division", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 35, No. 2, January 28, 1946, p. 61
22) "Notes of the Trade", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 6, No. 19, May 10, 1920, p. 18
23) "Nobbe Goes to Commonwealth", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 8, No. 3, January 24, 1921, p. 13
24) "Notes of the Trade", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 7, No. 18, November 1, 1920, p. 18
25) "Trade Notes-New Products", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol.38, No. 18, September 5, 1949, p. 653
26) "List of Patents", The New York Daily Times, June 10, 1857
27) Williams Haynes,
American Chemical Industry, Vol. I, (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1945), p. 303
28) "A Manufactory of Aniline Dyes", Scientific American, Vol. 13, No. 1, July 1, 1865, p.33
29) James J. Nagle, "Schaefer Brewing Keeps Its Profits in the Family", The New York Times, April 21, 1968
30) Dye Factory Burns; Firemen In Peril", The New York Times, May16, 1908
31) "Notes of the Trade", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 7, No. 2, July 12, 1920, p. 18
32) "Commonwealth Discontinues Dyestuff and Textile Chemical Manufacturing", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 42, No. 9, April 27, 1953,
p. 279
33) American Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events of the Year 1864, D. Appleton, NY, 1865, p. 27
34) E. Noelting,
Scientific and Industrial History of Aniline Black, Wm. J. Matheson & Co. NY, 1889
35) "Ansbacher Manufacturing Co.", Brooklyn Eagle, November 25, 1873.
36) "Sanitary:  Meeting of the Board of Health", Brooklyn Eagle, April 23, 1875
37) "Hod Carriers on Strike Rout a Lot of Italians", Brooklyn, Eagle, May 2, 1902
38) "Dangers in Manufacture of Paris Green and Scheele's Green", State of New York Department of Labor Special Bulletins, 1917
39) "Families in Thickly Populated District Driven Out by Flames", Warren (PA) Evening Times, February 4, 1919
40) "Man Is Suffocated by Fall in Vat of Lime", Oakland (CA) Tribune, March 5, 1920
41) "Color Makers Unite", New York Times, September 18, 1929
42) Alien Property Custodian Report 1918-1919, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1919, pp. 360, 568
43) John R. Callahan, "Modernizing Chemical Color Manufacture", Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, June 1943, pp.106-109
44) Rayon Textile Monthly, Vol. 26, 1945, p. 135
45) Industrial Research Laboratories of the United States, National Research Council, Washington, D.C.,1920, p. 77
46) "New Incorporations", New York Times, March 21, 1916
47) New York Tribune, December 26, 1921
48) "Brooklyn-Paul Uhlich & Co.", Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Vol. 26, 1922, p. 671


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Dye Plant Locations
Brooklyn, New York Dye Industry
ColorantsHistory.Org
Left:  Laboratory Building  Right:  Research and Control Laboratory
Photos:  American Dyestuff Reporter, 1938
First Chemical Industry Exposition.  Grand Central Palace, New York-1915.  
Photo:  www.chemshow.com
Schaefer Brewery Made Dyes During Prohibition Era
Photo:  Library of Congress, 1948
British-American Chemical Co. Plant in
College Point Destroyed by Fire in 1917
Holliday-Kemp Ad for Dyestuffs
Image:  Year Book of the Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, 1918.  
Click to Enlarge
Brooklyn, New York Dye Industry
A History by Robert J. Baptista-Updated February 12, 2014
Gowanus Canal 1906-Several Early Dye  
Manufacturers Were Located Nearby
Photo:  Brooklyn Library.  Click to Enlarge
Former Wm. J. Matheson Co. Dye Plant
Ansbacher Ad for Paris Green
The Iowa Homestead, 1913.  Click to Enlarge.
Former Location of Ansbacher Co.
TV Documentary on Dyes Industry
Read, Holliday Ad
Mentions Brooklyn
Plant-1913.
Click to Enlarge
Official American Textile Directory-1920
Click to Enlarge
Official American Textile Directory-1920
Click to Enlarge
Former Site of Fred L. Lavanburg Co.
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The Zobel Family-Chemical Manufacturers in Brooklyn
Former site of Ultro Chemical Co. in Brooklyn
Former site of Paul Uhlich & Co. in Brooklyn
Trade ad in Paint, Oil and Drug Review, Vol. 58, 1914