Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Monsanto Chemicals

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March 1946.
July 1948.
February 1952.

Monsanto Chemicals Ltd, of Victoria Station House, Victoria Street, London, SW1. Telephone: Victoria 2255. Cables: "Monsanto, London"

of Wrexham

1859 John Francis Queeny was born in Chicago, Illinois, the eldest of five children, where he learned the value of hard work from his parents.

The Queeny family was doing well in Chicago until 1871 — the year of the Great Chicago Fire. As a twelve year-old boy, John Francis simply could not afford the luxury of continuing his education.

After several months of searching for a job in the fire-ravaged city of Chicago, he entered the chemical business as an office boy with the drug firm of Tolman and King earning $2.50 per week. John Francis Queeny quickly advanced to become a delivery boy.

1891 Queeny continued to work up the ranks and in 1891, went to St. Louis as an employee of the Meyer Brothers Drug Company. Shortly after that Mr. Queeny married Miss Olga Mendez Monsanto.

1901 On 30 November, Monsanto Chemical Works was incorporated with $5,000, to start a manufacturing plant to produce saccharin. He named the company after his wife.

In 1903 and 1905, the entire production of saccharin was sent to a new company in Georgia called Coca-Cola. In the early 1900s, vanilla and caffeine were also produced.

1917, the company started producing aspirin.

1919 Monsanto established its first venture outside the USA forming the joint company Graesser-Monsanto with R. A. Graesser. This was the first of Monsanto's operations in the UK from 1919.

1928 Monsanto took full ownership of Graesser-Monsanto Chemical Works and formed Monsanto Chemicals Ltd with its head office in London.

1933 John Francis Queeny died.

c.1934 Monsanto Chemicals Ltd was made a public company.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for Chemicals for Every Industry. Manufacturers of Phenols, Cresylic Acids, Pure Cresols, Phthalic Anhydride, Plasticizers, Coumarone Resin, Disinfectants, Germicides, Antiseptics, Saccharin, Preservatives, Flavourings, Rubber chemicals, Dye-Stuff Intermediates, Salicylates and many other Pharmaceuticals. (Chemicals etc. Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1172) [1]

1947 Construction started on a new factory at Newport, South Wales.

1950 Distillers Co's Grangemouth plant would supply feedstock to a new plant to make styrene monomer owned by Forth Chemicals Ltd, which was owned two-thirds by Anglo Iranian Oil and one third by Monsanto Chemicals Ltd[2].

1956 British Petroleum Chemicals was renamed British Hydrocarbon Chemicals; it had 2 subsidiaries - Forth Chemicals and Grange Chemicals[3].

The group currently operates as Solutia UK.

See Also

  • [1] John F. Queeny
  • [2] St. Louis (Missouri) Preservation Website
  • [3] Monsanto UK Website
  • [4] Welsh Assembly Government Website

Sources of Information

  1. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 271; and p190
  2. The Times, 16 September 1950
  3. The Times, 23 August 1956