Herbert Henry Dow
This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
From Brine to Bromine to Bleach…
Herbert Henry Dow was an inveterate inventor. Born in Belleville, Ontario in 1866, he grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and began tinkering at a young age. The first of his many inventions was an electrochemical process used to extract bromine from brine. From there, he developed a host of processes and products such as bleach, synthetic indigo dye, chloroform, Epsom salts, and no-knock gasoline for cars. Holder of dozens of patents, he founded the Dow Chemical Company, one of the largest chemical producers in the world today.