For synthetic rubber producer LANXESS, 2009 is officially the global rubber year as the company celebrated synthetic rubber's 100th anniversary last month in Cologne, Germany. Synthetic rubber was first developed and patented on September 12, 1909, by German chemical company Bayer. LANXESS was formerly Bayer's chemical and polymer business division, which was spun off in 2005.
During the event, LANXESS showed how man-made materials such as synthetic rubber could continue to thrive and remain indispensable for mankind, despite growing opposition from environmentalists to anything made from petroleum.
I was, however, amused when during the event's question-and-answer (Q&A) session, two European reporters boasted of their publications' more than 100-year-old pedigree in their introductions before proceeding to their questions.
Getting into the competitive spirit of whose publication is the oldest, I eagerly raised my hand. Did I have a burning question for the presenter at that time? No, but I also wanted to state ICIS Chemical Business's 138-year history.
I guess the event moderator sensed my intention and quickly wrapped up the Q&A session. Despite the missed opportunity, it dawned on me how LANXESS employees felt being part of a rich 100-year history.
ICIS Chemical Business's history goes back to 1881, when the former Oil, Paint and Drug (OPD) Reporter, based in downtown New York, began its operations. OPD was famous in the industry for its weekly lowdown on actual commercial conditions of the growing oil, paint, drug and chemical markets.
OPD, which then became Chemical Market Reporter, and is now part of ICIS Chemical Business, was able to survive more than a century of volatility within the chemical and publishing industries. Even now, as many print publications are in dire straits, ICIS Chemical Business will continue to evolve and become a better provider of chemical information, insight and analysis as we celebrate our 138th anniversary on October 18.
It is truly a pleasure to be a part of this historic publication and we look forward to our 200th anniversary!
See other old OPD/CMR photos on ICB's new facebook page!