|Standard Chemical Products
Early Manufacturer of Textile Chemicals
Former Standard Chemical Products Facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Google Street View 2011.
Standard Chemical Products was incorporated in 1922 with capital of $25,000. The founders were Henry Ruegg, Jr., Lincoln Levine and Louis L. Grombacher. The firm
manufactured chemicals for the dyeing and finishing of textiles in a plant at 1301 Jefferson St., Hoboken, New Jersey. It was a pioneer in the field of specialty
chemicals for textile processing which were once called "textile assistants" and later referred to as "textile auxiliaries".
In order to serve the growing textile industry in the South, the firm built a facility in 1956 in Charlotte, North Carolina consisting of an office, laboratory and
warehouse. In 1967, a two-story building was constructed for research and development.
Standard Chemical Products Ad in 1959 Technical Manual of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists,
The international chemical company Henkel acquired Standard Chemical in 1960 which was operated as a division. Henkel had another plant in Charlotte on
Westinghouse Boulevard that manufactured ethoxylated surfactants with ethylene oxide. Surfactants were an important part of the Standard Chemical product line.
The photo of the Charlotte plant in the ad shows a tank farm adjoining the warehouse building with about a dozen raw material storage tanks. There was likely a
railroad siding to accept bulk shipments. Inside the building was a process area with tanks for mixing, diluting and packaging the final products, typically sold in drums
to textile customers. Products requiring chemical reactions were likely made in Hoboken or at the Westinghouse Boulevard plant.
Henkel closed the plant in 1991. The shift of textile manufacturing to Asia reduced the need for textile auxiliaries in the U.S. The property is currently used for the
storage and distribution of roofing and siding materials. The R & D building has been demolished.
The facility has been recommended for listing on the National Register of historic sites because it well represents the industrial expansion of Charlotte after World
War II. In the mid-1950s, there were 14 ancillary facilities of dye and chemical companies servicing the textile industry. Today, Standard Chemical Products is one of
only two of these facilities remaining substantially intact. It is a notable example of post-World War II, modernist architecture in Charlotte.
ColorantsHistory.Org thanks Mr. Richard Mattson of Mattson, Alexander and Associates, Charlotte, NC, for supplying historical information about Standard Chemical
1) American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. XI, No. 2, July 17, 1922, p. 68
2) Phase II Historic Resources Survey Report, Lynx Blue Line Extension Northeast Corridor Light Rail Project, Charlotte Area Transit System, by Mattson, Alexander and
Associates, Charlotte, NC, Nov. 6, 2008, available online at the link:
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