Lightyears Collection
Dodge & Olcott


Dodge & Olcott came into being in 1862 when John Covill retired from the partnership of Dodge, Colvill & Olcott.

George M. Olcott, born August 23, 1835, finished his studies with Columbia College Grammar School in 1851 and joined wholesale druggists, Osgood & Jennings, as a clerk. Three years later he left Osgood & Jennings and was hired by Dodge & Covill, importers of cosmetics, essential oils, chemicals and drugs. In 1857 Olcott was taken into the partnership and the firm's name was modified to reflect his new role.

George M. Olcott became very much a man of affairs. In addition to his relationship with Dodge & Olcott, he was associated with a number of businesses including the Phenix Chemical Works, Lloyds Plate Glass Insurance Company, First National Bank of Ridgefield, Connecticut (while Olcott owned "Casagmo", an estate in Ridgefield, his primary home was in Brooklyn, New York), Market & Fulton National Bank of New York, Federal Insurance Company, Franklin Trust Company, Franklin Safe Deposit Company, and the Bowery Savings Bank. In short, he was highly involved in business affairs.

In 1952, Fritzsche (also spelled "Fritzche") Brothers, under the direction of Frederick Henry Leonhardt ("Fritz"), purchased Dodge & Olcott. In 1963 the combined company was renamed Fritzche, Dodge & Olcott. In 1980, Fritzche, Dodge & Olcott was acquired by chemical giant, BASF, which held it for ten years before passing it on to Flavor and Fragrance giant, Givaudan, in 1990.


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Sunburst perfume from Dodge and Olcott

Sunburst Perfume

Sunburst Perfume

While the primary business of Dodge & Olcott was to supply raw materials to the drug and cosmetics business, their name also appeared on this package of Sunburst perfume. We don't know whether this was intended for retail sale or whether, perhaps, it was done as a gift intended for Dodge & Olcott's accounts.


Benzaldehyde — Synthetic Oil, Bitter Almond. "Put up by" Dodge & Olcott in their Bayonne, New Jersey, factory. (Bottom of bottle is marked "D&O Co".) Click on image to enlarge
A. Rallet & Co Advertising
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de Laire Aldehyde C16

Front
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de Laire Aldehyde C16

Back

This bottle of Aldehyde C16 from de Laire (France) was filled and sold by Dodge & Olcott, possibly to American perfumers.


 
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Oil Cubeb

Front
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Oil Cubeb

Back
  Oil Cebub from Smith, Klein & French, repackaged and distributed by Dodge & Olcott.

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Dodge and Olcott

Dodge & Olcott
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Chemical Drumsb

Chemical Drums
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Winter

Winter

Dodge & Olcott, 1915-1920

"These pictures are from about 1915-1920.

"I heard my father talk about Dodge and Olcott all my life. He had written 'Dodge and Olcott' in pencil under several of the pictures. He worked there as his first job before the War and the 1930 census says he was an 'Assistant Chemist' which probably meant he swept the floor and washed the beakers. It was interesting that the chemical drums were stored outside in the yard.

"His grandfather, William B. Ferguson, was a 'foreman' at Dodge and Olcott for many years. He is in the picture of the workers, back row, on the left. Notice the drums of chemicals in the background.

"What a wild looking bunch to be working with perfume! I expected white lab coats. But I suppose someone had to unload all those barrels. An interesting glimpse of the rougher side of the business."

— Don Daley

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Workers

Workers
William B. Ferguson, foreman, is shown in the picture of the workers, back row, on the left.

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