The GRASSELLI CHEMICAL CO., one of Cleveland's leading chemical producers, began in Cincinnati where Eugene Ramiro Grasselli established a chemical works to manufacture sulfuric acid in 1839. In 1866 Grasselli erected a plant in Cleveland on Independence Rd. near Broadway and moved his headquarters there the following year to manufacture sulfuric acid in quantity for the city's growing number of oil refineries. The company shared in the growth of the Standard Oil Co. refinery, and in 1873 Eugene's son, CAESAR AUGUSTIN GRASSELLI, became a partner in the works, which continued business under the name E. Grasselli & Son. After the founder's death in 1882, the partnership was dissolved and the Grasselli Chemical Co. was formed in 1885 with Caesar as president. The company grew by acquisition and consolidation, establishing plants throughout the U.S.

As other chemical-dependent industries grew, the company established plants throughout the eastern U.S. and diversified its product line to include acetic acid, silicate of soda, fertilizers, and zinc. During World War I it entered the explosives field. In 1928 Grasselli Chemical Co. consolidated with the E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Co. Thomas S. Grasselli, who had succeeded his father, Caesar, as president in 1916, became vice-president and a director of Du Pont. In 1936 the company was dissolved and the Grasselli Chemical Dept. took over this phase of the Du Pont business. In 1984 Du Pont's Chemicals & Pigments Dept. operated at the original Grasselli site, producing sulfuric acid, zinc chloride, galvanizing fluxes, sodium bisulfate, and silicates.

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Grasselli Family Papers, WRHS.




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