New York Color & Chemical Co.
Belleville, New Jersey
The World War I dye famine, brought on by the blockade of imports from Germany, resulted in the establishment of many colorant manufacturers in the New
York-New Jersey metropolitan area.  One of these was the New York Color & Chemical Company, incorporated in 1916 by T.J. Kelly, L.W. Reinisch and J.C.
Donavin.  They raised $100,000 capital to make dyes, paints and chemicals in a plant located on a 10 acre site at the junction of Main and Joralemon
Streets, along the Passaic River in Belleville, New Jersey.  Some of the funds to build the plant came from the sale of 165 barrels of German dyes that the
company purchased before the U.S. entered the war.  The shipment, one of the last from Germany, arrived in New York on the Dutch liner
Nieuw Amsterdam
in November 1917.  

In 1924 the company became a subsidiary of the
American Dyewood Company, one of the largest producers of natural dyes extracted from wood.  The
Belleville plant made synthetic dyes and pigments. The site expanded continuously over the years, manufacturing a diverse line of colors and chemicals
for the textile, tanning, leather, printing ink, paper and pulp industries.  About 100 people were employed.  A research laboratory was also at the site.

The company was very involved with war production, supplying the printing ink for ration books, a pigment for waterproofing tents, the fluorescent dye
uranine, which helped to spot downed pilots at sea, and nigrosine, used as a shark repellent.

In 1947 the officers were P.R. Mackinney, president; H.R. Tisdale, vice president; F.C. Fuller, secretary; E. W. Picker, treasurer.  The executive offices were
located at 22 E. 40th Street, New York.  Branch offices and warehouses were located in major cities of the U.S. and Canada.

The product line in 1952 included the following colors:

Acid Orange Y
Acid Violet 5BS Conc
Acid Blue SB,SBB
Acid Blue S3R
Alkali blue Toner Pulp
Bismarck Brown R
Bronze Bromo
Cerate Orange RO
Cerate Red BBR
Cerate Yellow BMY
Chrysoidine R
D&C Red 21
D&C Red 22
D&C Yellow 7
D&C Yellow 8
Dibrom Fluorescein
Direct Black GW
Erythrosine B
Induline 2B
Logwood Pigment LLC P
Logwood Pigment P
Methyl Violet T Lake
Nigrosine Base
Nigrosine BBS
Nyco Super Black SJ
Nyco Super Blue 2GX
Nyco Super Blue 2RB
Nyco Super Green 2B
Nyco Super Orange
Nyco Super Red B
Nyco Super Red G
Nyco Super Red O
Nyco Super Violet 4R
Nyco Super Yellow H
Oil Brown DB
Oil Orange RO
Oil Red YR
Oil Scarlet YS
Oil Yellow RY
Phloxine BP Super
Phloxine BX
Phloxine Toner E3300
Sap Brown USA Flakes
Soluble Blue 2R
Uranine SW
Water Blue WGS
Water Blue WRS                                                                                                                          

The Nycolime colors were introduced in 1954 for the coloration of cement, mortar, stucco, and waterproofing compounds.  Additional markets included
emulsion and casein based paints, calcimines and artists' water colors.  The line consisted of eight colors-yellow, red, blue, brown, black and three shades
of green.  All were fast to alkali.

In 1960 the president of the company was Robert N. Armour.  The research staff consisted of  Wallace S. Peck, Director of Research; 7 chemists, 2 chemical
engineers, 2 technicians, and 3 auxiliaries.  Research was conducted on coal tar dyes, logwood, organic pigments, and specialty chemicals.

Aerial photos show the company closed sometime in the 1970s.  


1) Williams Haynes, American Chemical Industry, Vol. III, D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1945, p. 264

2) Williams Haynes, American Chemical Industry, Vol. VI, D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1949, p. 26

3) Metallurgical and Chemical Engineeing, November 1, 1916, p. 546

4) AATCC Technical Manual, American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, 1952

5) "American Dyewood Expands Operations", American Dyestuff Reporter, Vol. 43, No. 2, January 18, 1954, p. 56

6) "Interview with Herbert S. Estell", Rutgers Oral History Archives,, accessed November 20,
History of the American Dyewood Industry
Click Here for Aerial View Today of the Former New York Color & Chemical Co. Site
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Click Here for Aerial Photo of New York Color & Chemical Co. Plant in Belleville in 1966
Chemical Structures of Uranine Dye (Fluorescein) (Left) and Nigrosine (Right)