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Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association

Identifier: DP01-01

Scope and Content

The Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association is a fragmentary collection. The bulk of the association’s early records are believed to have been lost in a fire. What remains, aside from the letter books and one volume of minutes, is mostly related to several attempts to gather historical documents to be used for an official history of the association. Attempts made by association secretaries in 1921 (in preparation for the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association 50th Anniversary) and 1947 (75th Anniversary) both ended in failure. In 1972, the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association was able to issue a commemorative volume honoring their Centennial.

These records contain correspondence and documentation relating to all three attempts. The records are arranged into the following four series:

  1. Correspondence and Letter Books
  2. Administrative
  3. Material Gathered for an Organizational History
  4. Manufacturing Chemists’ Association Addenda


  • Creation: 1872-1996
  • Creation: Majority of material found within Bulk 1876-1908


Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions on the materials and the collection is open to the public.

Copyright Information

The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Background Note

The Manufacturing Chemists’ Association was an industry trade association for American chemical companies. The Manufacturing Chemist’s Association was formed in 1872 and initially concerned itself with matters relating to product standards and quality. Later, the association became involved in matters relating to chemical safety and to the environment.

In 1878, the Association began to take an active stand on behalf of protectionist forces in the struggle waged over the issue of free trade. It was the Association’s contention that free trade would give the better established European chemical manufacturers of England, France, and Germany an unfair advantage over the still-developing United States companies. In time, the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association became so well versed in tariffs and trade-related matters that their members came to be relied upon by the United States Congress as expert advisors.

During World War I, many prominent Manufacturing Chemists’ Association members were a part of the Chemical Alliance. The Chemical Alliance worked to ensure that substitute sources could be found for vital chemicals previously supplied by Germany.

The Manufacturing Chemists’ Association became the Chemical Manufacturers Association in 1979. In 2000, the Association became The American Chemistry Council, Incorporated. The American Chemistry Council, Incorporated is presently active and represents more than 190 chemical companies.


Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


2.4 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association consist of administrative materials, correspondence, and historical documents originally created and maintained by the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association. The records were later maintained by the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association’s successors, the Chemical Manufacturers Association, and the American Chemistry Council, Incorporated.

Acquisition Information

The Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by the American Chemistry Council in 2001.

Related Materials

The Records of Chemical Trade Associations are preserved at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Processing Information

The Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association were processed by Andrew Mangravite in 2003. This finding aid was edited by Andrew Mangravite in 2017 and by Birch Mezzaroba in April 2022.

Records of the Manufacturing Chemists’ Association
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Birch Mezzaroba.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022: Finding aid revised by Birch Mezzaroba.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)