Business & Finance: Friable Messes

Had an industrial reporter of the already venerable Cincinnati Gazette covered the Grasselli Chemical Co.'s formal opening in 1839, he might have learned that Founder Eugene Grasselli's family had been chemists for 400 years, since first they made gunpowder and perfume in Torno, Italy. He could not have learned, however, that the company would move to Cleveland after the Civil War. and would there prosper mightily producing fertilizers, zinc metal, zinc dust, explosives, aspirin, until finally, under Grandson Thomas Saxton Grasselli, it would have 22 factories and assets of $56,700,000.

Nor when Thomas...

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