Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,916 pages of information and 232,835 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Monsanto Co

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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 The Monsanto Group operated a number of facilities throughout the UK from 1919, when the company entered into partnership with R. A. Graesser chemical works in Ruabon, Wales forming Graesser-Monsanto Chemical Works.

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.

1968 Monsanto Co offered high temperature plastics[1]

1969 The Monsanto Company acquired Fischer Governor Co of Iowa as part of a plan to diversify into electronics[2]


2018 Completion of acquisition by Bayer

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Engineering 1968
  2. The Times May 27, 1969