CORPORATIONS: Chemical Change

In 1854, William Russell Grace a refugee from the Irish potato famine and a partner in a small ship chandler's store seven miles from Lima, Peru, changed trades. He decided that he could make more money selling guano fertilizer (bird droppings) than from ship supplies He was right. By the time he died in 1904. his W. R. Grace & Co. was a multimillion-dollar empire whose ship lines, sales agencies, railroads and import-export business touched almost every town and hamlet along South America's west coast.

Last week the company started on a change...

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