The original Koppers Company was founded by Dr. Heinrich Koppers, a young German engineer. He had developed a new type of coke oven that could economically recover the byproduct chemicals of the coking process. American steel producers brought Dr. Koppers to the U.S. to build his ovens. The first ovens were completed in 1907 in Joliet, Illinois, and the H. Koppers Company was incorporated in Chicago in March 1912.
In 1914, the same American investors purchased the majority interest in the company from Dr. Koppers and established the headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, then the world capital of steel making.
In 1943, Koppers, at the US Government's behest, built a factory in Kobuta, Pennsylvania on the left bank of the Ohio River just downriver from Beaver, to manufacture styrene-butadiene monomer, a building block used to make a form of synthetic rubber for the World War II defense effort.
In 1951, at Port Arthur, Texas, the company built a plant to manufacture the chemical monomer ethylbenzene, using as raw materials ethylene from the nearby Gulf Oil refinery, and benzene, which was a byproduct of the company's coke ovens in PA and which was shipped down to TX by barge. The ethylbenzene produced there was then shipped by barge back up to the Kobuta plant where it was converted to styrene monomer, and then polymerized to make expandable polystyrene, familiar to all as an insulating and lightweight packing material when further formed. In the early 1950s, the company purchased a license to manufacture polyethylene plastic polymerized at low pressure from the Gulf Oil ethylene feedstock, in a new addition to its Port Arthur plant. These chemical operations later were the basis for forming a new corporate entity with Sinclair Oil Corporation
to form the Sinclair-Koppers Company in 1965.
In early 1988, Beazer East acquired Koppers Company, Inc. and later, in December of that year, the current company, Koppers Inc., was created as Koppers Industries, Inc. when assets of Koppers Company, Inc. were purchased in a management-led leveraged buyout.
Close Up of Vignette:
Common Stock, specimen, late 1900’sPrinter: Security-Columbian / United States Bank Note Company Dimensions:
8” (h) x 12” (w)State: PA-Pennsylvania
| IL-Illinois Subject Matter: Steel Companies
| Coke Companies
| Specimen Pieces Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured
| Allegorical Truth
| River Scene
| Globe Featured Condition:
No fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and body, very crisp.