Laborer Describes His Exposure to Asbestos While Working at Allied Chemical

In December 1920, five chemical companies, including Barret Chemical Company, General Chemical Company, National Aniline and Chemical Company, Semet-Solvay Company, and Solvay Process Company merged to form the Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation. At the time, German chemical companies controlled the majority of the world’s chemical industry. Because of the economic devastation brought on by World War I, Allied forged ahead to become a major supplier of basic chemicals by the end of the 1920s. For the next half century, Allied Chemical was the largest chemical company in the United States. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Allied’s market share steadily decreased due to a combination of obsolete production facilities and poor business strategy. During this period, Allied Chemical began to diversify into oil and natural gas production. During the 1980s, Allied diversified its interests even further by purchasing the Bendix Corporation, which produced products for automotive and aerospace industries. In 1985, Allied Chemical & Dye Corporation merged with Signal Companies, an automotive and aerospace firm, to form AlliedSignal. Fourteen years later, AlliedSignal acquired Honeywell, Inc., and changed the name of the company to Honeywell International.

Allied owned numerous manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and three facilities were located in Western New York. The largest of the three plants was located in Buffalo, on Elk and Lee Streets. Beginning in 1879 and originally part of the National Aniline and Chemical Company, Allied Chemical manufactured many different dyes and colorants for the textiles industry. The sixty-three acre site employed 3,000 workers during its peak production years and was the sole North American manufacturer of indigo dye for denim textiles. In 1976, Allied Chemical sold this facility to the Buffalo Color Corporation, which continued to manufacture dyes until it ceased operations in 2003.

Allied Chemical also owned a coke plant on River Rd. in Tonawanda, New York. This facility opened in 1917, as part of the Semet-Solvay Company. Allied’s additional coke plants were located in Ashland, Kentucky; Detroit, Michigan; and Ironton, Ohio. When Allied sold its Tonawanda plant in 1978, it became known as the Tonawanda Coke Corporation, which is still in operation to this day.  Allied also owned the Solvay Process plant once located on Onondaga Lake in Solvay, New York. This plant was closed and demolished in 1985. Today, Honeywell International oversees the property and is responsible for pollution remediation.