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Subject:  Hooker Chemical Company Date:  4/20/2011  4:12 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  625 of 758

“Salt & Water, Power & People: A Short History of Hooker Electrochemical Co.,” by Robert E. Thomas, Hooker Chemical Co., Niagara Falls, NY, 1955. This 109-page hardback tells the story of Hooker Chemical Co., best known for burying drums of waste chemicals in Love Canal in Niagara Falls, which became a major environmental site in the 1970s. Hooker Chemical was founded in 1903, as The Development and Funding Company by Elon Hooker, of Rochester, NY. He was from an old line New England family and had degrees in civil engineering from the University of Rochester and Cornell. A search for a suitable business for investment identified the Townsend cell, which converted salt to sodium hydroxide/caustic soda/lye, chlorine, and hydrogen by electrolysis. The chlorine was sold for “sanitation” (and chlorination of