Keystone Aniline was founded in 1920 by William Peck, who had been a branch manager for National Aniline Company. At the time National Aniline was the largest US producer of dyes. National Aniline would be merged with several other chemical companies to form Allied Chemical.
Bill Peck, who had become dissatisfied with management changes under the merger, brought the entire National Aniline, Chicago branch, sales force with him when he left to establish Keystone Aniline and Chemical Company, Inc. The sales force continued to call on many of the same accounts and Keystone developed its chemical as well as dye business. William Peck died within the first year that the company was established. He was succeeded by his son Thomas, who successfully ran the company until about 1950.
Arthur Andrews was hired for a laboratory position in 1950 by Tom Peck to enhance Keystone's participation in the dye business to which Peck had a historical attachment. Arthur Andrews had received his Master's Degree in Chemistry and had served in WW II as a naval bomb disposal and demolitions expert. After the war he gained dye experience having worked for RIT Products, the package home dye formulation company until they relocated from Chicago to Indianapolis. Andrews left Keystone in 1953 for an opportunity to start his own firm that never fully materialized.
Realizing Keystone needed a new direction, Thomas Peck called Andrews back in mid-1957 and asked him to return to Keystone as a 50 percent partner if Peck recapitalized the company. Mr. Peck wanted to salvage the business that his father had founded and which had been a profitable operation for nearly 35 years.
Arthur Andrews repositioned the emphasis of Keystone Aniline to focus almost exclusively on dyes for non-textile applications. The textile dye consuming markets were controlled by the major U.S. dye manufacturers and, as evidenced by a major price fixing law suit brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the late 1960's, many of the manufacturers had engaged in unfair business practices that barred entry into that market. Since the mid 1950's Keystone Aniline has continued to focus almost exclusively on dye and pigment applications for inks, coatings, plastics, soaps and detergents, leather, paper, and agricultural applications.
As is well known, the 1960's began the gradual decline of the U.S. based dyestuff manufacturing industry in the United States. From the late 70's through the 80's and into the 90's as the major American owned dye manufacturers closed down or sold their production facilties, the European manufacturers, who for some time had established operations in the U.S., began to dominate the market. As these facilities were closed over the decades, the opportunity for Keystone to fill the technical service and logistics gaps increased. Keystone expanded their color business significantly by diversifying into new industrial markets and offering strong technical support, a wide range of products and the overall service required by our customers on a global basis.
John and George Andrews, the present joint owners, joined the company in 1976 and 1979 respectively and have expanded the business beyond the domestic market borders by emphasizing technical application expertise and logistics support to a wider global market. In 1998 we started Keystone Europe LTD with Managing Director, Sean Bostock formerly of Holliday Dyes and Chemicals which gave us production and a distribution base in Europe.
In 2000 we opened our pigment dispersion and dye liquification facility in Inman, South Carolina where we manufacture a wide range of aqueous and solvent based pigment dispersions and dye liquids for various customer applications. We presently have offices, laboratories, and production facilities in Huddersfield, England; Inman, South Carolina; Phoenix, Arizona; Singapore; and Shanghai, China. Our message is consistent and our value added proposition straightforward - provide the strongest technical and application expertise in addition to the highest quality products, regulatory support, and logistics infrastructure focusing only on the color business.
We have built what we feel is an excellent executive team comprised of John and George Andrews, Sean Bostock MD, Keystone Europe; Steve Maiolo, VP of Sales and Marketing; Robert Horwath, VP and CFO; and Charle Wilkinson, VP of Operations. These gentlemen come from varied but very relevant backgrounds. As mentioned, Bostock from Holliday Dyes and Chemicals, Maiolo from Atlantic Chemical and Dyestar, Horwath from Financial Planning and Management in the electrical distribution business, and Wilkinson from PriceWaterhouseCooper, LLC.
Keystone's history is nearly 100 years old and its future is stronger than ever thanks to decades worth of knowledge and expertise in color and its application, combined with a clear understanding of the challenges and requirements facing our customers globally.
Our message of Global Color Intelligence means imparting our knowledge and expertise to our customers for them to most efficiently use our products and allow them to compete in the global market.