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Posted on 21 July 2011 | 4,595 views

Glidden Stock Price After the October 1929 Stock Market Crash

The “Glidden” Company was started in 1875 when Francis Harrington Glidden (1832–1922), Levi Rackett, and Thomas Bolles founded a varnish-making business called Glidden, Brackett & Co. The business produced 1,000 gallons of varnish every week and made deliveries via horse and wagon.

As partners retired over the years, the company’s name went through several changes until 1894, when it became The Glidden Varnish Company. By that time, Glidden employed 18 workers in its factory and was producing a variety of industrial finishes for furniture, pianos, carriages, and wagons.

Glidden spent the 1920s integrating vertically through the acquisition of chemical and pigment companies. In 1921, Glidden formed the Chemical & Pigment Co., a subsidiary that was supplemented with the 1924 purchase of Euston Lead Co. in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Acquisitions continued throughout the 1920s with the purchase of The Chemical & Pigment Co., Inc., The Diamond Paint Co., Euston Lead Co., Metals Refining Co., and the Mamolith Carbon Paint Co. Inc. Glidden spent the years before the Great Depression developing lacquers and coatings of all types, for decoration and preservation of wood and metal surfaces.

The Glidden Food Products Company was formed in 1920. This subsidiary refined vegetable oils and produced oleomargarine. By the onset of the “Great Depression“, Glidden had formed a conglomerate that was able to purchase smaller companies disadvantaged by the economic turmoil of the time. In 1929 Glidden acquired the assets of Voco Nut Oil Products, Inc., Wisconsin Food Products Co., Troco Co. of Illinois, Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Co.’s vegetable oil refinery, and E.R. Dunham Manufacturing Co. The purchase of Durkee & Co., a leading manufacturer of salad dressings, meat sauces, pickles, spices, and condiments, for $1.8 million in mid-1929 precipitated a name change for Glidden’s food subsidiary to Durkee Famous Foods, Inc. Durkee was widely known as the maker of Durkee Famous Sauce, reportedly a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln. Glidden and Durkee would enjoy a half-century of cooperation.

By October 27, 1929 Glidden was trading at $46.25 per share when the first wave of selling on “Black Monday”, October 28, 1929 brought the shares down ($10.25) to close at $36.00 per share on the day. By August 11, 1932, Glidden was trading at $6.875 and hit a 1932 low of $3.125 per share.

Glidden also branched out into the soybean business, building a soybean oil extraction plant in Chicago in 1934. The operations were incorporated as Glidden’s Holland Mills, Inc. subsidiary three years later. The versatile soybean business complemented both the paint and foods operations: soybean oil was used in the production of paint and linoleum as well as in margarine.

AkzoNobel (formerly Imperial Chemical Industries) now owns the Glidden name. The company began distributing a new version of Glidden paint in the Spring of 2009.


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

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