|Haledon Plant Location- Early Industries
Edited By: Robert J. Baptista, November 1, 1993
Note from ColorantsHistory.Org: Dr. Robert J. Baptista worked for Bayer Corporation and its predecessor Mobay Chemical Corporation during the 1972-2000 period. In 1987-1993
he was Plant Manager of the Harmon Colors facility. The article "Early Industries" in the 50th Anniversary History Book of Haledon, published by the Borough of Haledon in 1958, is
reproduced below with editing:
"Benjamin Brunded lived in Paterson in 1825, and opened a machine shop across the street from the present City Hall. This shop burned down and he moved into this area about
1832 and bought the Hedden Bark Mill on the Oldham Brook. This was a one-story field stone structure. Two years, later, he established a foundry and machine shop, and named
the community Oldham, after a place in Lancashire, England. He also had his home on this property.
In 1857, Charles and William Hodges purchased the foundry, enlarging the plant and converting it into a woolen and hosiery mill. They prospered for many years, but after the Civil
War in 1865, they met with reverses and the property was sold at a Sheriff’s sale. It became the Oldham Manufacturing Company for a few years. Later, the mill was sold to M. H.
Chapin, manufacturer of tape and binding until 1876, when Garnetti & Gazzara operated a silk throwing plant there. Later, it was the Hoxey Mill, until 1879, when the Jute Print
Works of Henry L. Butler (father of Nicholas Murry Butler, educator) was established in part of the building, using steam and water power. He was principally engaged in the
various processes connected with the printing of jute carpets, and employed eight men. Sloan Tapestry also used the old mill. In the early 1900’s, velvets were manufactured
there. The Oriental Silk Printing Company later enlarged the mill and did a thriving business. The old mill was part of the Harmon Colors Haledon, New Jersey plant, where it was
known as Bldg. 804.
After the Civil War, Robert Bridge built a brick mill on the Oldham Brook at Haledon Avenue with a raceway and turbine wheel for cotton weaving but never used it for this industry.
He rented the mill first to a concern that made doll and baby carriages, then to Cameron & King who printed and finished silk here. Some of the later industries were: Cedar Cliff
Silk Mills, Columbia Ribbon Company, Robertson Tapestry, Haledon Print Works, Haledon Throwing Company and others.
Fifty years before Bridge located on the Pond, there was a snuff factory which was later converted into a nail factory, making handmade nails. Behind the pond, was the Fullerton
& Robertson slaughter house which Bridge bought with 113 acres of land for $1,000. Robert Bridge conducted a big ice business at the Pond, where ice was cut and housed every
winter. He had a circular stable where he kept his five teams of horses, three teams of mules and also had his own blacksmith shop.
The old Scottish game curling which employed brooms and “stones”, was a popular sport on Oldham Pond in the winter, attracting thousands of spectators from as far away as
New York City.
Today, Oldham Pond is stocked each spring with trout and passersby are allowed to fish from the High Mountain Road sidewalk."
History of Harmon Colors
Author Unknown, 1966
Note from ColorantsHistory.Org: This historical summary of Harmon Colors was written by an unknown employee in 1966. It is reproduced below without editing:
"Harmon Colors was founded in 1914 by William Harmon, who set up an inorganic pigment factory in College Point, Long Island, New York. Harmon Colors was incorporated in
New York on January 4, 1916.
In approximately 1924, the operation was moved to Brooklyn, New York.
In 1936 and early 1937 the company moved its entire operation to its present 45-acre tract in Haledon and North Haledon, New Jersey.
Harmon acquired approximately 3 acres and a small building located in Kearny, New Jersey, in 1941 - some 25 miles from the main plant. Expansion was started immediately.
Here, in essence, were produced the “raw” materials (intermediates), the ingredients to make colors. All of Kearny plant production was delivered to the Haledon plant for
conversion into color pigments. This plant was dismantled in 1958 under B. F. Goodrich ownership. The B. F. Goodrich Company had offered to sell this plant site to Allied, but
Allied was not interested.
At the close of November 30, 1942, Harmon Color Works Inc. was sold by American Home Products Corporation to the B. F. Goodrich Company. (Note from RJB-Harmon was
purchased by American Home Products Nov. 30, 1942 and not sold to BF Goodrich until 1950).
Harmon’s past is an interesting one. Prior to World War I, most of our colors and dyes were imported from Germany. When the war nipped off our country’s supply, private
industry took up the challenge and the U. S. color industry was born. Harmon was established and early progress was for the most part slow.
The year 1927 stands out in Harmon’s history. It was in this year that two of the men who have played such a great part in Harmon’s success entered the picture; a chief chemist
and a production manager. It was then, also, that the basic decision was made to curtail production of inorganic pigments and enter the field or organics.
These men pioneered in the production and introduction of brilliant colors to the automobile industry, which - until then - had been using dull grays and universal black almost
exclusively. The brilliant tones obtained from the organic colors caught the public’s fancy and, while the nation wallowed in the depression, Harmon prospered and grew.
As mentioned earlier, in 1937 the company moved its entire operation to its present site.
The Second World War came, and Harmon merged with American Home Products Corporation. At a time when brilliant colors were put in the shadow of olive drab, Harmon used
its “know-how” in turning out large quantities of sulfa drugs, smoke bombs and atabrine - the anti-malarial drug so indispensable in tropical warfare. For their outstanding job,
Harmon earned the Army-Navy “E”.
The post-war period resulted in an immediate changeover to Harmon Colors pigment production. The pigment business increased in both domestic and export sales.
The B. F. Goodrich Company acquired Harmon Color works on November 1, 1950. Incidentally, no significant policy changes were made by any of the companies, nor was there
any deviation in its efforts in the production of the quality pigments for which it had become noted.
Harmon, like the rest of the chemical companies, manufacturers only raw materials - in this case, organic pigments - which constitute a high percentage of Harmon’s business.
(Harmon does not make paint.)
But where do the color pigments go? Mostly into automotive paint formulations, a field in which Harmon is a major supplier. As a rule of thumb, there is one quarter of a pound of
color pigment in every gallon of automobile paint. Harmon colors grace every make of car on the nation’s highways.
Harmon colors are also used extensively in interior and exterior paints for farm equipment and homes; in inks for printing newspapers, on vinyl plastic; and as a coloring agent in
the textile, rubber and plastic industries. Also, products such as billiard balls, children’s crayons, beer labels, buttons, umbrella handles and shower curtains.
The competition is especially keen in organics - Harmon’s bread and butter. Also, Harmon must sell every pound of color while their competitors enjoy large “captive” markets
within their own organizations. Organic pigments are usually sold in a dry powder form. Basically, in the production of color, two intermediates or ingredients are brought
together in a carefully controlled reaction to form a suspension - a liquid with small particles of color floating on it - looking for all the world like the old-fashioned snow scene in a
glass bowl. Technically, a benzene derivative such as aniline is taken through several chemical reactions, then introduced into a tank of beta naphtha, forming the suspension.
The resultant suspension is then taken into a filter press under pressure where the solid particles are removed and deposited upon some textile filtering material in the press.
The residue is washed while in the press to remove all salts and impurities. The material is then taken from the press and residue removed. At this point, the color resembles a
chunk of we mud or clay and is about 20% color, 80% water. This material is placed into pans, racked and wheeled into an oven and dried at moderately warm temperature to
remove all moisture. At this point, the color resembles colored coke, is chunky or lumpy. This material is then ground to powder form.
In the color industry, there is no such thing as mass production. Every pound of color is produced by the “batch” method. It takes about a week to process a given batch of color,
which may run anywhere from 200 to 600 pounds.
The old problem of inventory versus customer service comes into play at this point. Filling the customer’s order as rapidly as possible is a necessity; yet large inventories of all of
the several hundred colors Harmon produces, obviously cannot be stocked. To Harmon, red is not red in itself. There may be 50 different reds, each of which must be
compounded differently. To further complicate the picture, a red color for outdoor use must have weathering qualities built in, which an inside red would not need.
Highly specialized equipment is necessary. Huge vats are used, some holding as much as 5,000 gallons, and the buildings are honeycombed with pipes and valves.
Production controls must, of necessity, be stringent. All batches of any given order must match. Before any batch is shipped to the customer, extensive tests are made by the
factory control department to make sure the batch matches the reference “standard” on file in the laboratory’s library.
Harmon does a great deal of basic research into colors, both in new and improved characteristics.
In testing new pigments, small quantities of paint formulated with the Harmon pigment are made up and painted on metal test panels. The panels are shipped to a testing area in
Florida, where they are exposed to sun and salt water.
The Harmon administrative, sales and accounting office, is situated on the banks of a scenic 17-acre lake. But, it is more than scenery that Harmon is after; water, or rather the
lack of it, could put Harmon right our of business. Harmon uses the staggering total of one to one and a half million gallons of water for each day of operation. For this reason, the
“lake” was a major selling point when Harmon decided to move to Haledon; the lake being included with the purchase. The lake is spring-fed, supplemented by surface waters.
With the advent of more and more synthetic fiber clothing, another great potential opened. Some synthetics, by their nature, don’t lend themselves to dyeing as well as natural
fibers. Our then Technical Director - Mr. Vesce - came up with a solution to the problem, which is patented and involves blending the pigment and polymer. The color becomes an
integral part of the entire fiber. The color dispersions, as they are known, are used in coloring vinyl compounds, and may be used in polyethylenes.
Today, Harmon employs 345, of which 210 are wage. Salaried includes General Administration, Plant Administration, Research and Development, Technical Service, Technical
Testing, as well as the regular plant production and plant services salaried personnel.
Operating as a decentralized unit, including Sales, Research and Development, Technical Service, we have a Manager as well as a Plant Manager.
In our Sales Department we have a Marketing Director, a Sales Manager, 10 salesman, a Technical Service Manager, a Sales Coordinator, a Secretary, and 3 clerks. Sales office
branches are located in Detroit; Louisville, Kentucky; Chicago; Cleveland; Los Angeles; and Philadelphia.
Off-plant warehousing of finished goods is at 9 locations; we utilize space in the Allied Jersey City warehouse mainly for materials supplied by Buffalo, which are usually shipped
via pool car.
Customer orders are received and processed by Harmon. Customer credit line is established by Allied Credit Department, duly recorded on customer reference cards on file in
the Haledon sales office. New accounts are referred to Allied Credit Department before release of order. Orders are processed on a Ditto billing master snap-out form. One part
of the snap-out consists of a factory shipping order - bill of lading combination. Immediately upon completion of order typing, the shipping order and bill of lading copies are ready
for factory release. Normally order received in the morning mail are at the factory for processing by 10:30 A.M.; if the material is in inventory, it is shipped the same day. Customer
orders received by sales office branches where warehousing is maintained and goods are available, are shipped from the warehouse. Where goods are not available at the
warehouse, either the salesman or the clerk advises the Harmon Sales Coordinator. All shipments from warehouses are cleared through the Haledon sales office, for preparation
of billing master and to accounting for billing. Off-plant warehousing inventory is reconciled monthly by Haledon accounting.
Harmon is departmentalized and has a Standard Cost system. Standard costs are revised annually, written and calculated by Harmon accounting after completion of the Factory
Budget and become effective January 1st. The master batches are reviewed and revised where necessary, which includes raw materials, labor, and yields. As new
masterbatches are initiated, or old products reinstated - which require new or revised standard costs - they are prepared by Haledon accounting. Overhead costs are distributed
by production supervision and considers absorbing the revised budgeted costs based on budgeted sales pounds and the intermediate production pounds required to produce the
Factory budgets are prepared are prepared by plant supervision on controllable expense accounts. Manpower required, based on forecast requirements, are submitted by
supervision to the Plant Manager. Raw material requirements are worked up by the Supervisor of Production Control. A request is made through Purchasing for prices, which
Accounting uses to extend costs; these become standard raw material costs. Taxes, insurance, and depreciation charges, are received from New York General Office.
Accounting calculates salaries, wages, vacation and holiday pay, fringe benefits and other miscellaneous items to complete the factory budgets by cost centers. Upon
completion, the factory budgets are submitted to the Plant Manager for approval, and to the Manager for acceptance. There is one exception, Test and Inspection cost center
budget is approved by the Technical Director.
General Administration, Research and Development, Sales and Technical Sales budgets are prepared by Accounting after consulting specific related supervision. These budgets
are approved by the Manager and forwarded to the New York General Office for acceptance.
Haledon Accounting analyzes and summarizes all cost center budgets. Also, Accounting prepares projected budgeted factory costs to the resultant gross profit projection.
Salaried payroll is prepared by the New York General Office. Wage payroll is prepared by Haledon Accounting. Pay period closes Sunday midnight and is paid for on the following
Tuesday and Wednesday. We use the Shaw-Walker pegboard system, using custom forms. We prepare quarterly reports and W-2’s. An auxiliary report of gross earnings,
taxable, S.U.I. And F.I.C.A. figures accompanies the reports, which are cleared through the New York General Office. Supper monies, wages due weekly, are determined from time
cards listed, stuffed in pay envelopes, paid in cash.
Time distribution, wage, excepting maintenance, is distributed by Haledon; maintenance distribution sheets are forwarded to the New York General Office and processed via
computer. Direct labor for drying, grinding and blending, presently service cost centers, is distributed to the production center they perform for, for their labor hours appear on the
“standard” under the producing centers. This also applies where one production center performs for another.
Time distribution, salaries, other than laboratory, are predetermined and reported as “one-shot” to the New York General Office. The laboratory personnel distribute their time,
which is summarized and journaled by Haledon Accounting.
We maintain a raw material, finished goods, intermediates, fixed assets, returnable container and packaging material ledger.
We are on a batch process. Production scheduling is predetermined monthly and the schedule is typed. This schedule is reviewed each Thursday of the previous week for
possible changes. The schedule is used to initiate production orders (daily), some of which are mimeographed, others must be typed from masterbatches and assigned a
number. The production orders are released to production supervisors for processing. As processing progresses, should production deviate from the masterbatch, as it is
submitted via the production order, production personnel must record the change on the production order. Upon completion of the process, the production order is cleared
through the superintendent of Operations, who release to Accounting after recording. Yields are reported separately on a yield report and follow the same routine as the
production order. Production order forms contain Harmon code, tab product code, cost center code, raw material name and tab code, intermediate description and tab code,
finished goods and tab code, together with standard pounds to be consumed. As mentioned above, any changes made in actual consumption must be recorded.
Yield reports contain cost center, factory and tab code, and actual yield pounds. Reported raw materials, intermediates and finished goods consumed, plus yields, are tape-
punched by Accounting on a Friden Add-Punch. The tapes are forwarded to the New York General Office for reproduction and accumulation. For inventory control, we post totals
from summary tapes on finished goods, intermediates, production and consumption. Sales are accumulated from invoices, which are used for posting. We are investigating
posting sales from the 525 sales tabulations. Raw materials consumption is posted from the summary tape. All requisitions, other than production, are posted separately.
Accounts payable are processed by Accounting, tying in receiving reports, purchase orders, checking weights, prices, extensions, and auditing account numbers. We prepare
form number C-131 and assign a voucher number. GO and dash numbers are reported when required. We process freight bills on both receipts and shipments.
As mentioned, we handle all billings of customer shipments. We average better than 1,000 billings per month. Shipments in the main are prepaid and freight bills on both receipts
As mentioned, we handle all billings of customer shipments. We average better than 1,000 billing per month. Shipments in the main are prepaid and freight bill payments are
recorded on each shipment as paid, to avoid duplication of payment.
Fixed asset activity, new, scrap, relocation, are all recorded and reported to fixed asset record section NYGO. As previously reported, we maintain a plant record of fixed assets.
This is maintained by building, by numerical fixed asset or P.I. number.
There are 10 employees in the Harmon Accounting office; 4 female, 6 male - including the plant controller.
You may hear about an affiliated pigment plant in France. Yes, Allied does own a controlling interest in an operation known as Gemco. It is located in Aubagne and produces
pigments and dispersions. Interest in such a plant was ignited by reason of the European Common Market.
Gross sales in 1965 amounted to $13,400,000 - a record high for Harmon.
Our projected sales for 1966 is $14,300,000. We purchase products for resale, a comparatively minor figure in comparison - $600,000 in 1966, or about 4% of our 1966 projection.
Our gross production pounds approximate 7.1 million pounds. Our end product pounds for sale approximate 3.8 million pounds, plus 100,000 pounds purchased for resale.
All shipments are forwarded via truck, there is no railroad siding at Harmon.
Inventories approximate $2.5M. Broken down they are about as follows:
Finished Goods 1,100,000
Intermediates and In-Process 450,000
Raw Materials 900,000
Machine Shop Stores, Vendor 50,000
Drums, Packaging Materials, etc.
Factory floor space, all inclusive, approximates 177,000 square feet.
The Harmon Place office approximates 5,000 square feet.
Our principal customers are du Pont, Ford Motor, Pinshed Mason, Interchemical Corporation, Pittsburgh Plate Glass, Devoe & Reynolds, Cook Paint & Varnish, Sherwin Williams,
Celanese Corporation, Sun Chemical, B. F. Goodrich, Union Carbide, Cal/Ink Chemical, Monsanto, and - in Canada - Canadian Industries, Ltd.
Where is Harmon going? With an alert management, some of the best technical minds in the industry, skilled personnel, and a lot of genuine pride in producing top quality, raw
materials, the future looks to be every bit as brilliant as the color it produces."
Haledon Plant Site - Later History
By: Robert J. Baptista, November 1, 1993 (revised November 21, 2008)
Note from ColorantsHistory.Org: Dr. Robert J. Baptista worked for Bayer Corporation and its predecessor Mobay Chemical Corporation during the 1972-2000 period. In 1987-1993
he was Plant Manager of the Harmon Colors facility. He wrote a personal history of the Haledon plant, based on his own experiences and historic files, which is reproduced below:
"In 1914, Harmon Color Works was founded by William Harmon and William Purdy. It was located at College Point, Long Island, New York, and produced inorganic pigments, such
as Chrome Yellow and Iron Blue. In 1916 Harmon moved to 361 Harman Street, Brooklyn, New York. At the time the company employed 20 men.
In 1924, William Harmon’s death resulted in Mrs. Harmon selling the business to Charles Cook, of Cook Paint & Varnish, Raymond Kinder, a Chicago agent for Harmon, and Ernest
Gommel, who left G. Siegle as manager of their pigment manufacturing operation. Gommel brought Vincent C. Vesce with him from G. Siegle. They produced many organic lakes,
azo yellows and reds, but could not swing customers away form G. Siegle, so business was failing. The company kept borrowing money on notes guaranteed by C. Cook from
National City Bank, until it owed $250,000. Mrs. Cook put up $60,000.
Victor J. Chartrand, a salesman for G. Siegle, joined the company in 1928 as Vice-President with 25% stock ownership. All debts were paid off by 1930.
By 1935, maroon pigments introduced by Vincent Vesce, which were not as complex as today’s pigments, gave Harmon its name in the automotive industry. Harmon was being
operated as a small independent company so, for expansion capital, Cook Industrial Paints ivested money and held 51% shares in the company. To protect Cook’s investment,
Victor Chartrand was named President. Harold Madden joined and was named Plant Manager. President Chartrand, Technical Director Vesce, and Plant Manager Madden, were
the team that made Harmon click. Harmon was suffering growing pains! The plant was located on a city street, buying expensive water metered from New York City, and with no
room for expansion.
In 1936, Harmon moved from Brooklyn to a larger factory. Duplan Silk Corporation had a factory at Haledon, New Jersey, consisting of 47 acres on which they had spent a couple
of million dollars, but on account of some bad labor troubles, Duplan moved to the South. Harmon was able to buy this factory and the property, upon which was an 18-acre lake,
for $75,000. At this time the area was almost rural.
The move was completed by 1937 and production increased for a short period. The underground spring-fed Oldham Pond supplied free, high quality process water (about a million
gallons a day) year after year, without any shortages. Harmon decided to concentrate on organic pigments exclusively, such as azo reds and yellows and thioindigo red and
maroon pigments. These pigments were introduced by Technical Director Vincent Vesce, and had the light fastness and high performance for automotive coatings which, until
that time, consisted of mainly dull grays and blacks or white.
In 1938 Harmon purchased a 12-acre plant in Kearny, New Jersey, on which one-half million dollars had been spent, for $13,000. This factory produced intermediates for the
Haledon plant. Victor Chartrand, President of Harmon, objected to the pigment dust and plant fumes, and decided to build the Lake Office in 1938 to house the administrative and
sales offices. The Lake Office is architecturally based on the old Montclair, New Jersey Country Club.
At the beginning of World War II, the government shut down the automobile manufacturers and put them on making tanks and armaments, which severely curtailed Harmon’s
business, 80% of which was with the automotive paint industry. The years 1940-41 were difficult for Harmon, which did not have any war contracts. A very limited amount of
colors for camouflage was manufactured. The company was about ready to fold.
In 1942, American Home Products Corporation was looking for a plant with a technical staff to manufacture drugs for the war effort. As Harmon had a plant in Kearny, as well as
Haledon, Harmon sold out to American Home taking stock instead of cash. Chartrand, Vesce and Madden continued in their same positions. The plant produced sulfa drugs,
atebrin, napalm, camouflage, and smoke colors.
Frank W. May, a chemist who graduated from Rutgers University, joined the plant staff in 1939 after a brief period with the plastics and pharmaceutical industries. During the war,
at the request of the U.S. Army, he was sent to the Winthrop Drug Company plant in Rensselaer, New York to study the process for manufacturing atebrin, a new anti-malaria drug.
May then helped establish manufacture of atebrin at the Haledon plant. During the Korean War, May was put in charge of napalm production
American Home Products owned the Marietta Dyestuff Company located in Ohio, which was merged with Harmon in 1945. In 1947, American Home Products sold off the Marietta
American Home Products decided they did not want to stay in the color business, so Chartrand arranged to sell Harmon to the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1950. Goodrich was
interested in getting into the color business, since they were considering producing tires having the same color as the automobile. They also used color in their rubber and vinyl
products. Chartrand, Vesce and Madden continued in their same positions.
In 1953, Victor Chartrand retired. Orville Isenberg, who came form the Goodrich International Department, was named General Manager.
Unfortunately, the idea of coloring tires turned out to be too expensive. In 1959, Isenberg arranged the sale of Harmon to Allied Chemical Corporation, which was interested in
broadening its color market, particularly in the textile printing ink area. Bertram Helfair was Director of Harmon Colors; Charles Cole, Manger; Vincent Vesce, Technical Director;
Harold Madden, Plant Manager. During the early part of 1959, some of the equipment in Kearny was transferred to Haledon, New Jersey, and then in May the Kearny plant was sold
to the Simpson Laboratories. This site is now occupied by Drew Chemical.
Vincent Vesce retired in 1962, and John Santimauro became the new Technical Director.
W. C. Parle, a President of California Ink, became General Manager of Harmon Colors in 1954. Jack Crouch became Plant Manager.
In 1966, Allied Chemical reorganized the Industrial Chemicals Division to include the National Aniline and Solvay Divisions. Crouch transferred to Morristown, New Jersey. Frank
May was the new Plant Manager.
Allied Chemical in 1968 split the Industrial Chemicals Division into Industrial Chemicals and Specialty Chemicals Divisions. Parle was made General Manager of Colors (Harmon
pigments and National dyes products). Louis M. Cochet became Plant Manager when Frank May died.
In 1973, Parle became Vice-President, Colors (pigments and dyes). George Ricks was named Plant Manager.
Allied Chemical in 1974 merged the Specialty Chemicals Division with the Plastics Division, to form a new Specialty Chemicals Division. Parle, Ricks and Santimauro, continued
their same responsibilities related to Harmon. Allied Chemical purchased the old mill building at 510 Belmont Avenue, Haledon, New Jersey, consisting of four floors, 10,000
square feet each floor, to become part of the Harmon complex. This building become known as Bldg. 844.
In the mid-1970’s, Mobay Chemical Corporation was very interested in acquiring an organic pigment business. An offer to purchase Chemetron, a major producer of organic
pigments for inks, was not approved by the U. S. Justice Department. BASF later purchased Chemetron. In a strategic acquisition led by Dr. Heinz Machatzke, Vice-President of
Mobay and General Manager of the Dyes Division, Bayer AG purchased the Harmon Colors business from Allied Chemical in January 1977.
Harmon became a part of the Rhinechem Corporation, New York City, which included Mobay Chemical Corporation and Cutter Laboratories. Rhinechem is a holding company of
The organization chart for Harmon Colors Corporation was as follows:
Board of Directors
J. H. Alexander, Chairman
H. Prochaska (Click here for biography)
J. H. Alexander, Chairman
H. Machatzke, President
H. Prochaska, General Manager
W. C. Parle, Vice-President
G. Mueller, Treasurer
E. Scanlon, Controller
K. Wobbekind, Secretary
In 1980, Harmon Colors Corporation merged with Mobay Chemical Corporation, as part of the new Dyes and Pigments Division. This became the Dyes, Pigments and Organics
Division of Mobay Corporation several years later.
During the period 1977-1987, Mobay invested $19 million in the business. In the Haledon plant, $16.5 million was invested to modernize the plant operations and to improve the
infrastructure and environmental controls. At Bushy Park, South Carolina, $2.5 million was invested in order to transfer the production of perylene intermediates from Allied’s old
plant in Buffalo, New York. These improvements supported the tremendous growth in sales, which by 1989 had quadrupled compared to 1977.
By 1986, environmental concerns led to the transfer of Thiofast red and later, methylated perylene intermediates to Bushy Park, in order to eliminate the hazards associated with
using phosphorous trichloride, oleum 65%, perchloroethylene, and methyl chloride in a plant with residential neighbors. The production of DCB pigments was stopped in 1988. An
Administrative Consent Order with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was signed in July, 1988 requiring Mobay to thoroughly investigate and remediate the
contamination associated with the North Yard lime pit.
The strong sales and profit performance of the Pigments Department, led by the growth of the perylene and quinacridone pigments and export sales, resulted in Mobay
announcing plans in January 1989 to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the production of high performance organic pigments at Bushy Park.
In 1989, the Pigments Marketing Department transferred from the Lake Office to Pittsburgh, and the R&D Department was transferred to Bushy Park. In 1990, the Lake Office was
leased to a studio for modeling, acting and photography.
In January 1992, Mobay Corporation became Miles Inc., and the Pigments Department became part of the Organic Products Division.
In early 1992, the new $70 million pigment manufacturing facility (Bldg. C8-2) started up. The major product groups were successfully transferred by the end of 1992. The Haledon
Plant continued production at about one-third capacity until June 1993. This involved production of nickel-containing products, special quality grades of products for Europe and
Japan, and selected phthalocyanines. The last blend, of Palomar Blue B-4816, was completed in July 1993.
During the period August 1992 - November 1993, the headcount was reduced from 173 to 6. A total of 23 employees transferred to Bushy Park since 1988. About 40% of
Miles completed the remedial investigation and submitted the Remedial Alternatives Analysis Report to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy on
September 30, 1993. The comprehensive remediation plan involves:
1) Demolition of production related buildings
2) Collection and treatment of groundwater
3) Soil treatment through soil-vapor extraction technologies
4) Capping the site and reinforcement of the areas adjacent to Molly Ann Brook
5) Groundwater monitoring
State approval of this plan is expected in December 1993. The demolition of the buildings will be completed by September 1994. Demolition debris will be backfilled on site. The
remediation project is expected to be completed in 1996. The total cost of the project, over 10 years, is estimated at $37 million.
Miles is planning to donate the following property to the Borough of Haledon:
1) 4-Story brick administration building (Bldg. 844)
2) Two warehouse buildings (Bldg. 845, 839)
3) 3 acre parcel of land in southwest portion of site
The Borough of Haledon will use the property for a municipal office, recycling center and fire department complex. The property is valued at $2,350,000.
Miles is also planning the donation of the 27 acre Oldham Pond property to the Borough of North Haledon, to conserve open spaces and provide recreational fishing. This property
has been appraised at $730,000.
Environmental investigations of the properties proposed for transfer, have shown no evidence of contamination above state guidelines. These property transfers must still be
approved by the state, to ensure compliance with the Industrial Site Recovery Act. The property transfers are expected to take place by mid-1994."
|Oldham Pond and Dam
Click to Enlarge
|Army-Navy "E" Awarded
Harmon Colors in WW II
|Old Textile Mill-Date Unknown
Later Used by Harmon Colors-Bldg. 804
|Bldg. 804. 1993 Photo Prior to Demolition
Photo Copyright by Wilson Baker
Click on Photos to Enlarge
Harmon Colors Plant and Oldham Pond-1987
|Lake Office (Marketing Dept.)-1991.
Photo: Robert J. Baptista
|The Late Leo Brennan Was a Maintenance
Mechanic at Harmon Colors for Many Years.
Photo Courtesy of Carol Diesner
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