The History of Zaclon

The Cleveland Plant is Born!

The year is 1836 and an Italian entrepreneur named Eugene Grasselli is eyeing America as the land of opportunity. Eugene had been working in his father’s growing chemical manufacturing business located in France. The industry was in its infancy and Eugene was anxious to strike out on his own. Eugene Grasselli had been educated in Strasburg and Heidelberg where he learned the art of Sulfuric Acid manufacture from his studies while under the tutelage of his father, Giavanni. So, Eugene left the comfort of his home in France, and set out for America. The journey took 5 ½ months, crossing the Atlantic in a small sailing vessel. The trip was perilous but in early 1837, Eugene landed in Philadelphia. He had 2 cents in his pocket.

In Philadelphia, Eugene found employment with Farr & Kunzie Chemical for $1 per day. While working for Farr & Kunzie in Philadelphia, Eugene struck up a friendship with another local chemical
manufacturer named DuPont. This friendship would come into play later. Eugene worked for Farr &
Kunzie for two years until in 1839 he decided to set out for Cincinnati, Ohio in order to start his own
Sulfuric Acid manufacturing plant under his own name, Grasselli Chemical. Grasselli’s first sulfuric acid plant started up in 1839 in Cincinnati. Cincinnati had a thriving soap industry (think P&G) and sulfuric acid was in high demand for soap processing. Grasselli’s Cincinnati plant thrived selling mainly to the soap industry. But while in Cincinnati, Eugene met a young merchant named John D. Rockefeller.

Rockefeller was developing another use for sulfuric acid – oil refining. And oil refining was centered in Cleveland Ohio, the location of Rockefeller’s #1 refinery. So, in 1865, Eugene set out for Cleveland to find a site for his second sulfuric acid manufacturing plant. He found the perfect site only ½ mile from Rockefeller’s #1 refinery located on flat land surrounded by hillsides for natural draft. The site was located in what later became known as Cleveland’s Industrial Flats. And thus, in 1866, Zaclon’s
Cleveland Plant was born producing sulfuric acid for John D. Rockefeller’s #1 refinery. 

Most Recent

The Dupont Years

By Jeff Turgeon
January 14, 2021 Category: General

The DuPont Years (1928 1985) By: Jim Krimmel The DuPont Chemical Company was started in 1802 when a French immigrant, E. I. duPont journeyed to America to manufacture gun powder. DuPonts first gun powder plant was located on the Brandywine River near Wilmington Delaware. Later in the 19th century, DuPont expanded into other explosives like dynamite and nitroglycerin but remained an explosives company until 1902. That year, three young duPont cousins T.Coleman, Pierre S. and Alfred I. purchased the company from their older relatives and began to transform it from an explosives manufacturer into a broad, science-based chemical company. Entry into the paints and coatings industry marked DuPonts first effort to diversify beyond explosives. Nitrocellulose, in addition to being a raw material of smokeless powder, was also used as a lacquer to coat brass fixtures. In 1904, DuPont acquired International Smokeless Powder Chemical Company, a leading manufacturer

Galvanizing 102

By Bob Woods
November 03, 2020 Category: General

BLOG 2---Robert M. Woods 8/1/2020 Degreasing is an important step to ease creation of the galvanized coating your customer is paying you for. So what processes are available, and what are the general pros and cons of each? First, let us look at them broadly: Cleaning Type Mechanical Solvent Alkaline (Hot Caustic Alone, 165 F) Hydronet type acid degrease Acid-Pickle (without Hydronet D) Biological Wide Range Soils x x x Carbon Emission x x x Evergreen x x x Productivity Improvement x x Hydrogen free x x x Paint removal x x Safety x x Water savings x x x Then lets look at some of the soils that show up in galvanizing, and how the different types of cleaners that galvanziers use do against them, with 5 being the best. Cleaning Type Mechanical Solvent Alkaline

The Grasselli Years

By Jim Krimmel
October 08, 2020 Category: Our Company

With the startup of Grassellis Cleveland Plant in 1866, the plant began shipping sulfuric acid to John D. Rockefellers #1 refinery which was conveniently located mile from Grassellis plant. But Rockefellers refinery was not the only one in Cleveland. In fact, by 1867 Cleveland had become the unquestioned center of the oil refining business in the United States with fifty oil refining plants. Large quantities of sulfuric acid were essential to wash the gasoline, coal oil, and the other products of distillation. The Grasselli Chemical company prospered. Because of the high demand for sulfuric acid in Cleveland, new sulfuric manufacturing plants soon sprung up including the construction of a plant by Marsh Harwood directly across the street from Grassellis Cleveland plant. As a result of the overcapacity, prices and profits in the Cleveland market collapsed. Caesar and Eugene began to look elsewhere for lucrative markets and built manufacturing plants in New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia,

Zaclon is a manufacturer of specialty chemicals with wide applications and world-wide sales. We are based in Cleveland, OH. Learn More →

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