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Posted on 12 March 2013 | 4,572 views

Air Reduction Company Stock Market Price After October 1929 Stock Market Crash

Across the Atlantic, the economic potential of the oxyacetylene process captured the attention of several prominent investors, including Percy Rockefeller – nephew of John D Rockefeller. In 1908 they formed the American Oxygen Company.

In 1914, L’Air Liquide (a company formed in 1902 to manufacture high-purity oxygen from air using a process devised by Georges Claude) began talks with the American Oxygen Company to use its liquefaction process for the production of oxygen in America.

American Oxygen bought liquefaction, distillation and oxygen compression equipment from L’Air Liquide and built its first plant in Philadelphia in 1915. Production sold out in two months.

The success of the Philadelphia plant convinced Rockefeller and the other investors to build five other oxygen plants in major industrial cities – Brooklyn, Newark, Pittsburgh, St Louis and Chicago – with L’Air Liquide providing the equipment.

On 16 November 1916, the “Air Reduction Company” was chartered, producing and marketing high-purity oxygen.

By October 27, 1929 Air Reduction Company was trading at $194.875 per share when the first wave of selling on “Black Monday“, October 28, 1929 brought the shares down ($49.875) to close at $145.00 per share on the day. By August 11, 1932, Air Reduction Company was trading at $51.50 and hit a 1932 low of $30.875 per share.

The company, later to become Airco, was to have a big influence on BOC many years later.


The Pittsburgh Press – October 1929
The Pittsburgh Press – August 1932

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