Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 10

10 * Plastics News, October 18, 2023
FAKUMA SHOW DAILY
Rare coins
give a glimpse
into chemical
industry history
Robert Bauman takes a look at
the history of the chemical and
petroleum industries through
numismatics, the study of coins.
Science History Institute photos
C
By Robert Bauman
Special to Plastics News
T
he history of the chemical
and petroleum industries,
which created the modern
plastics industry, is
widely available from books, published
articles and the internet.
But very few people know that it's
also available through numismatics:
the study of coins.
Cities, provinces and companies
issued coins, currency, medals
and related numismatic items
for a variety of reasons - such as
economic crises, military confl ict,
wages and employee benefi ts -
to commemorate events and for
customer promotions. Most of
the coins and currency issued by
these companies could only be
used within the company in cafeterias,
canteens, company stores
and production facilities.
Through numismatics, company
histories can be seen and we
can see that strategies that we
take for granted today were practiced
for more than 100 years.
These strategies include back
and forward integration, feedstock-driven
foreign investments,
joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions,
research and development,
and globalization.
Western Europe gave birth to
the chemical industry. The explosives,
glass, soap and textiles
industries provided the demand
with coal, salt (sodium chloride)
and pyrites (a waste byproduct
of coal mining) providing the raw
material base for its development.
Germany had the largest
deposits of coal in Europe and
one of the best university systems
focusing on chemistry, so it
became the center of the European
chemical industry.
Many of the coins and
banknotes were issued by companies
that no longer exist. They
either closed or, most often, were
acquired by companies currently
operating. Let's take a look at
issues that led to the release of
these historical objects.
Wartime issues
During a war, the metal value
of copper, silver and nickel coins
exceeded their spending value,
so people kept them. To facilitate
commerce, paper money and
lesser-value metal coins (iron and
zinc) were issued.
The fi rst known wartime issue
by a chemical company was
during the Franco-Prussian War,
which only lasted 11 months
in 1870-71. During that confl ict,
notes were issued by St. Gobain,
Chauny & Cirey (des glaces et
produits chimiques). The fi rm
had been founded in 1665 and
entered the chemical business in
1819, producing soda ash for its
glass business.
Since the war was so short
(with France losing), not many
notes were issued and most were
redeemed for French francs after
the war. The front of these notes

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023

Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 1
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 2
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 3
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 4
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 5
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 6
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 7
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 8
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 9
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 10
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 11
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 12
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 13
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 14
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 15
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 16
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 17
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 18
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 19
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 20
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 21
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 22
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 23
Plastics News - Show Daily - October 18, 2023 - 24
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com