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AmChem Products, Inc.

FKA American Chemical Paint Company; later owned by Union Carbide Corporation (1977), Henkel (1980), Cognis Corporation (“Cognis site”), and BASF (2000), Ambler, PA


Formerly known as American Chemical Paint Company (“AmChem”), AmChem was started by James Harvey Gravell in 1914.  The company was relocated from Philadelphia to Ambler, PA, in 1922.  Beginning in the late 1970s, AmChem was acquired several times by various companies.  The last company to own the facility was BASF who put it up for sale in 2012.

Address or general location

300 Brookside Avenue, Ambler, PA


American Chemical Paint Company (“AmChem”) was established by James Harvey Gravell of Philadelphia in 1914.  In 1922, Gravell moved the company to its final location in Ambler, PA.  AmChem’s first product was Deoxidine, a rust inhibitor for metal.  

American Chemical Paint Company was renamed AmChem Products in 1958.  In 1977, AmChem was purchased by Union Carbide Corporation and, shortly thereafter, purchased by Henkel.  Under Henkel, the company was operated by Henkel’s subsidiary, Cognis Corporation.  In 2010, Cognis Corporation was purchased by BASF.  

The facility where AmChem was originally located eventually grew into a 23-building complex sometimes referred to as the “Cognis site” (after it was purchased by Henkel’s subsidiary, Cognis Corporation).  The large facility encompasses 284,080 square feet of laboratories, office, warehouse and other space.  In 2012, BASF put the complex up for sale.  At that time, the site contained a number of buildings which had been in use for 80 years.

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