It was November, 1901 that “The Monsanto Chemical Works” was founded by a man named John Francis Queeny, a self-educated chemist and one who wanted to honor his wife, Olga Mendez Monsanto by using her name as the company name.
He set up the company with a $5,000 personal loan and was manufacturing the first artificial sweetener, Saccharin. Monsanto sold exclusively to another Georgia based company, Coca-Cola and soon began supplying the soft drink maker with caffeine and vanillin.
Soon after this, Monsanto began manufacturing aspirin and was the largest producer in America until the 1980’s. The company made its first acquisition in 1918 buying an Illinois company that made sulfuric acid. Monsanto went on to make many more acquisitions in the United States and Australia after joining the listings of the New York Stock Exchange one month before the surviving crash of 1929. It was then that the company was renamed to the Monsanto Chemical Company,
By the 1940’s, Monsanto became a giant producer of rubber and plastic. Later Monsanto added synthetic fibers like polystyrene and phosphates. At this time, Monsanto had a monopoly in the international PCB market which was guaranteed by a patent that made it possible for Monsanto to sell licenses everywhere in the world.