A Chemical Empire Thriving from an Ancient Ocean

The Evans Flour Mill, ca. 1891

The Evans Flour Mill was the site of the Midland Chemical Company, Dow’s first company in Midland. The tower seen in the photograph on the previous page houses the brine well that supplied the raw material Dow needed to produce bromine. He did so by means of electrolysis, which as far as Dow knew had never before been achieved on a commercial scale. The operation, however, was too small for his liking, so in May 1892 the Midland Chemical Company was reorganized, and operations were moved to the present site of Dow’s Michigan Division.

 

Herbert H. Dow Notebook #3, January–October 1889

From the time he was in college, Herbert Dow recorded most of his thoughts and ideas in small pocket notebooks. Forty-eight notebooks still survive and are housed in the CHF archives. Notebook #3 was kept by Dow during the period immediately after he graduated from the Case School of Applied Science. It contains ideas and sketches for various mechanical devices and processes, most notably his early work on extracting bromine.