R. T. Vanderbilt Company opened its doors for business on 42nd Street in New York City in 1916. It was started by a 31-year-old named Robert Thurlow Vanderbilt who had $1,000 of his own, a $24,000 family loan, and a contract to sell clay for a company in the South. However, while soft clay was geared to the needs of the paper industry, Continental Clay and North American Clay Company (of which Robert was a director) were also mining hard clays more suitable to the rubber industry. This introduced Vanderbilt to the rubber industry. The rubber industry was in its infancy with the most significant market being tires. R. T. Vanderbilt entered into an agreement to sell rubber chemicals into non-tire markets, and the Vanderbilt Rubber Handbook was created to support “how to” technology in hoses, footwear, wire and cable, and mechanical goods. The Vanderbilt Handbook remains as the most comprehensive reference in rubber compounding today. In 1948, Vanderbilt begin to manufacture chemicals in Bethel, CT to support rubber, plastic, paint and paper additive needs, and in 1955, the birth of the petroleum additives product line emerged. Continued growth created a need for more production capacity and in the 1970’s, a new chemical and mineral processing operation was built in Murray, KY.
In 2013, the R. T. Vanderbilt Company reorganized into 6 new companies and Vanderbilt Chemicals, LLC was founded. This change allowed for better market focus and improvement in business results. Vanderbilt Chemicals LLC is committed to the markets we serve with an extensive portfolio and global reach through Vanderbilt International and Vanderbilt Trading in Beijing. We remain dedicated to our mission statement: “Building relationships to achieve sustainable and ethical growth through a culture of quality and innovation”, and continue our commitment to professional technical service, competitive prices and reliability of supply. Our participation in ACC Responsible Care ® guidelines supports the improvement of our environmental, health, safety and security performance.
And so the Company has grown from year to year. Today we sell more than sixty categories of minerals and chemicals, made up of over 800 products, to twelve different industries: rubber, plastics, petroleum, paint, paper, pharmaceutical, agricultural, ceramics, adhesives, wire and cable, cosmetics, and household products.