$20,000,000 Dyestuff Consolidation to Meet Foreign Competition After War

The Aniline Color, Dyestuff and Chemical Conditions
August 1st, 1914,
April 1st, 1917.
A series of Addresses and Articles
Compiled by:
I. F. Stone
National Aniline and Chemical Company, Inc., to Include Schoellkopf Aniline and Chemical Works, Inc., the W. Beckers Aniline and Chemical Works and Benzol Products Company, With Sections of Barrett, Semet-Solvay and General Chemical Company Plants.

(Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, April 16, 1917.)

The first step has been taken toward the mobilization of all the factors entering into the creation of an American dyestuffs industry to insure its permanency and to meet upon more approximately even terms the business competition with foreign dyestuffs manufacturers, which must result inevitably at the close of the present war.

Just as the outbreak of European hostilities cut off from this country the so-called intermediates from which a few American producers made aniline colors in this country, so will the cessation of hostilities open the way to a flood of finished colors from those countries, which have been, in the interim, utilizing their dye plants for the manufacture of high explosives.

The coal-tar color and chemical industries of this country have now agreed upon a form of amalgamation, not by any means a trust or combination in the accepted sense of the word, but a centralization of productive effort and of capital, utilizing the sources of supply, the mines, coke oven by-product plants, manufacture of intermediates and acids, etc., with the sole purpose of meeting the post-bellum competition with a united front and with the strength of resource which can be found alone in such industrial cooperation.

The Amalgamated company which will be known as the National Aniline and Chemical Company, Inc. will have among its executives J. F. and C. P. Hugo Schoellkopf , of the Schoellkopf Aniline and Chemical Works; I. Frank Stone, president National Aniline and Chemical Company, and Dr. William Beckers, of the W. Beckers Aniline and Chemical Works, and will control the entire works of the Schoellkopf Aniline and Chemical Works, Inc., of Buffalo, the W. Beckers Aniline and Chemical Works of Brooklyn, the Benzol Products Company, of Marcus Hook, Pa., and such sections of the plants of the Semet-Solvay Company of Syracuse, the Barrett Company works at Frankfort, Pa., the General Chemical Company of New York, and other factories, which produce those coal-tar intermediates entering into the manufacture of the finished colors.

The entire business of this new amalgamation will be under the control and known by the name of the National Aniline and Chemical Company, Inc., and the present company bearing that name of which Mr. Stone has been president since its formation will be reorganized. The executives will include those already associated with the companies entering into the new productive alliance, together with such new research and manufacturing chemists and other experts as shall be necessary to the carrying out of the plans for such a nationalization of dyestuff production as is contemplated.

A study of the output of the several companies entering into the new association shows that the Schoellkopf and Beckers companies are manufacturers of dyestuffs, the Benzol company aniline oils, salts and certain intermediates, while the General Chemical, Semet-Solvay and the Barrett company production entering into the plans of the new organization is in the line of coal, coke oven by-products and intermediates. 221

At the present time the Schoellkopf Aniline and Chemical Company is the largest manufacturer of coal-tar dyestuffs in this country. Prior to the war this company made about 10 per cent, of the colors used here from German-produced intermediates, about 140 out of 900 to 1,000 of the finished aniline colors of commerce.

Prior to the war, also, there were four other makers of colors in the United States, using the German intermediates as bases, and they produced about 10 per cent, of the colors of commerce. Since the war the Schoellkopf business has increased marvelously with the manufacture in this country of certain intermediates, and from their normal output before the war the business has grown to approximately ten times the ante-bellum production.

The Beckers business was inaugurated on a small scale in 1912 two years before the war. In January, 1915, the present company was formed, and since that time the business has increased largely and is now second in size in the country. In other words, the combined output of the Schoellkopf and the Beckers concerns is about 75 per cent, of the aniline color production of the country. It is interesting to note, however, that the lines are not competitives to any extent, since the Beckers colors are successfully employed in the woolen trade, while the Schoellkopf Company has specialized more in cotton, silk, leather, paper colors, etc.

The Beckers company bought the Standard Aniline Company recently, the second producers of sulphur black in the country in point of output. The Schoellkopf company leads the country in sulphur black production and the combined output of both concerns totals about 75 per cent, of the total production today. The competition from other makers in this line is increasing steadily, however.

There is another interesting factor in the color production of the Schoellkopf and Beckers companies. While the number of such colors produced prior to the war was about 150, this has now been considerably reduced, primarily because of a lack of those intermediates not yet made in this country. The Beckers company produces about 50 colors, and it will be noted that the total by the two companies is but 115, or about 50 per cent, of the 250 or so colors of commerce which will re-enter American consumption soon after the close of hostilities.

The Benzol company is the only branch of the new organization manufacturing aniline oils and salts, of which it is the principal producer in this country. With the expansion of its modern plant on the Delaware River it has increased its output to a large extent and has now begun the manufacture of various intermediates and is experimenting with the production of others. This business had its inception before the war and was the result of antebellum demands. It is owned equally by the General Chemical Company, the Semet-Solvay Company and The Barrett Company, makers of acids and of benzol and other coaltar distillates, respectively. There is marked competition in these lines of production, for there are many makers of acids in quantity, and there are other producers of large quantities of coal-tar distillates.

As an indication of the policy of the new organization, it is stated that no agreements have been entered into with the three concerns last mentioned for the supplies of raw materials produced, since the amalgation will be free to buy supplies in the open market just as the other companies will be free to sell to other color makers.

One of the best evidences that the new association will not enjoy a monopoly the first cry raised whenever the exigencies of business demand a conservation of supply and productive effort, although in this instance the conservation is for the interests of the dye industry as a whole against the united effort of foreign competitors when the war-time embargo shall again be lifted is the fact that some 35 manufacturers of aniline colors in this country, many of whom are among the best-known among the concerns coming to the fore with the demand for increased production following war-time scarcity of coal-tar colors.

In addition to its purpose of placing the color industry of this country upon a more permanent basis, this proposed $20,000,000 consolidation offers the opportunity through plant production possibilities, the availability of acids, bases and intermediates, the laboratory facilities to be provided and the economic advantages due to centralization of production and marketing effort for the rapid development of production until they shall be prepared to market all the colors necessary to meet the demands, instead of about onehalf the varieties as at present. In addition the organization will also produce pharmaceutical and photographic chemicals and explosives, as a natural development of their production of coal-tar products.

This possible development can be attained only through some such co-operative effort, and in itself will assure a welcome to the new enterprise.

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