|Cawley, Clark & Company
Newark, New Jersey
The successful production of ultramarine pigment in 1873 by the Heller & Merz Company of Newark led to the
decision of the Cawley, Clark & Company to locate its pigment facility in Newark. Cawley, Clark acquired the
former James P. Barnett plant at 278 Passaic Street, which was one of the first producers of the white pigment
lithopone in the United States. Nearby at 272 Passaic Street was the Beckton Chemical Company which
introduced lithopone production in 1892.
Cawley, Clark began production of lithopone in 1896. Lithopone is a mixture of zinc sulfide, zinc oxide, and
barium sulfate; made by heating zinc sulfide with zinc and barium sulfate to redness. It was used not only in
interior paints but also for linoleum, oilcloth, furniture and as a rubber compounding agent. Another New
Jersey manufacturer of lithopone was the Grasselli Chemical Company, which started production at its
Tremley Point (Linden) plant in 1902.
In the early 1900s, John Cawley was president. Harry Henderson Green, a chemist who graduated from
Harvard University, was the superintendent of the plant. The staff also included chemist Dr. Herman S.
Riederer. The product range included chrome yellow and the arsenic based pigment and insecticide Paris
Burglars broke into the Passaic Street plant in 1901 and stole gold leaf. They fled over the 4th Street bridge
to Kearny but were chased back to Newark by Kearny police and finally captured. Later the same year,
Jonathan Lyon, the 76 year old watchman, was killed by robbers who took his silver watch and his week's
wages of $12. Tramps from the Passaic River area were believed responsible.
In 1903 Cawley, Clark built another plant at 256 Vanderpool Street. A fire in 1905 destroyed a 2.5-story high
building at this plant with a loss of $200,000. The adjoining building of E. H. McCormick Leather was gutted
and neighboring homes of workers were damaged. The plant was believed to have been rebuilt in the same
year by the construction of two 3-story brick buildings which cost $50,000. The buildings were on a plot 90 x
200 feet in area.
John Cawley acquired a controlling interest in the Beckton Chemical Company, which became a subsidiary of
Cawley, Clark. In 1917 DuPont bought both the Cawley, Clark and the Beckton Chemical plants for $2.0 million.
Cawley, Clark employed about 100 workers at the time. Pigment making operations were eventually
consolidated at the Vanderpool Street location. Production facilities were expanded and technical
capabilities received increased emphasis.
For the next thirty years, DuPont produced inorganic and organic pigments in Newark. In 1947 a new facility
was constructed containing the world's only continuous manufacturing/grinding/packaging line for chrome
and zinc yellows and molybdate oranges. The company also became a major producer of speciality organic
pigments. The research and development laboratories turned out new and innovative organic pigments like
In 1969 the development of the "glass-encapsulated" lead chromate line, patented under the name Krolor,
positioned DuPont as an innovator in product adaptation and environmental safety. Just two years later, the
installment of a major wastewater pre-treatment facility and an air pollution control system enhanced that
reputation for safety.
Dupont sold the Newark plant to Heubach Inc., a German firm, in 1984 which subsequently sold the business
to Cookson Pigments. The plant was closed around 2000 and demolished.
1) New York Times, January 27, 1901
2) New York Times, November 13, 1901
3) Lowell (MA) Sun, May 3, 1905
4) Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics of Labor and Industry of New Jersey, 1905, p. 341
5) Standard Corporation Service: Daily Revised, Standard Statistics Co., 1917, p. 188
6) Williams Haynes, American Chemical Industry, Vol I, D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1954, p. 358
7) John T. Cunningham, Made in New Jersey, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1954, pp. 124-125
8) "Engineering the Color of the Future", European Polymers Paint Colour Journal, May 26, 1993
|"Cawley, Clark & Company, Newark, New Jersey"
By Robert J. Baptista, Updated April 9, 2009
|DuPont Lithopone Trade Ad 1918
Image: Annual Chemical Directory of the United States
Click to Enlarge
Copyright © 2009 by ColorantsHistory.Org. All Rights Reserved.
|The E.H. McCormick Leather Co. was
Located at Vanderpool St. and Avenue C,
Adjoining the Cawley, Clark Plant.
Photo: Newark: The City of Industry, 1912