Growth Company: Dow Chemical's First Century
E. N. Brandt
Publisher: Michigan State University Press (May 31, 1997)
Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub
Size: 7.2 MB
Downloadable formats: PDF
As the focus of protest against a hated war in Vietnam it became one of the best-known company names in America almost overnight during the 1960s. "Dow makes napalm, napalm kills babies," chanted student protesters on hundreds of campuses during that war. "Dow shalt not kill." This feisty company did not back off from making napalm (it was the only U.S. company that did not), and it was soon embroiled in other front-page controversies—Agent Orange, dioxin, and mercury contamination of the Great Lakes among them. Typically, when EPA planes flew over its plants taking photos, Dow sued.
Growth Company is the story of a century of industrial drama told by an insider who has been associated with the firm and its top managers since 1953. Written in celebration of the firm's 100th anniversary, it traces the rise of an archetypical growth company from its unlikely beginnings in a dying lumber town in the backwoods of central Michigan. Later a Wall Street favorite, it made many of its early investors wealthy; it has not missed or decreased a dividend since 1911.
Based on research in the Dow corporate archives, supplemented by oral history interviews with more than 150 company pioneers, this colorful panorama of growth is told in terms of the people who built this unique and spectacularly successful world-class company, beginning with Herbert H. Dow, the young genius who founded the firm, down to the son of Greek immigrants who heads the company today.