Heller & Merz

Hamburg Place


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From ColorantsHistory.Org:

The synthetic colorants industry in Newark, New Jersey began in 1869 with the partnership of Frederick Heller (1835-1889) and Henry Merz (1833-1905). They were German immigrants from the city of Darmstadt, with Heller coming to the U.S. in 1849 and Merz in 1853. Merz studied chemistry at Cooper Union in New York and in 1868 attempted the manufacture of ultramarine, an inorganic pigment used for calico printing, tinting of paper, paints, and as a laundry aid. They selected this product because of the high selling price and low cost of the raw materials. Another factor was the lack of competition, since all the domestic requirements for ultramarine were imported. But the process was complicated, generating much waste, so Heller went to Germany to acquire the know-how, rejoining Merz in 1869.