Editor's note: This is the 186th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - In 1909, Omar T. Frick began manufacturing ultramarine blue pigment in Tiffin, Ohio. A year later, Frick encouraged Henry Dourif, a young French chemist, to join him in the firm, called Standard Ultramarine & Color Co.
In 1912, lured by the advantages of Huntington's location, the two men moved their young company and its 20 employees to a half-acre site on 5th Avenue just east of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad crossing.
From that modest beginning, Standard Ultramarine, or SUCO as it was generally called, rapidly grew to become one of Huntington's biggest and best known industries. By the mid-1920s, the plant covered some 20 acres and employed more than 500 workers. By 1948, SUCO offered a rainbow assortment of pigments.
Because the plant sprawled over both sides of 5th Avenue, traffic on the avenue sometimes had to stop while workers - many of them covered from head to toe in blue dye - rode a small trolley that carried them across the busy roadway.
Over the years, many of the buildings shown in the accompanying photograph have been demolished, and the plant has changed hands.
In 1964, SUCO was sold to Chemetron Corp. and combined with Holland Color & Chemical to form Holland-SUCO Color Co., a name that was used until 1969 when it was changed to the Pigments Division of Chemetron. In 1979, Chemetron sold the plant to BASF Wyandotte.
Today, the century-old plant is owned and operated by Flint Group Pigments, a worldwide supplier to the printing and packaging industry.
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