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The Olin Corporation (NYSE: OLN) is a major manufacturer of copper alloys (through subsidiary Olin Brass), ammunition (through Winchester Ammunition), and chlorine and sodium hydroxide (Olin Chlor-Alkali Products). Based in Clayton, Missouri, it traces its history to two companies, both founded in 1892: Franklin W. Olin's Equitable Powder Company of East Alton, Illinois and the Mathieson Alkali Works of Saltville, Virginia.
Olin's blasting and gunpowder company expanded into the production of cartridges in 1898 with the formation of the Western Cartridge Company. During World War I, the company created Olin Brass to produce brass for the cartridges. In 1931, Western merged with the famed Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In 1944, the various Olin companies were organized under a new corporate parent, Olin Industries, Inc.
In 1893, Mathieson Alkali Works acquired its neighbor, the Holston Salt and Plaster Corp., and Saltville became a quintessential company town. In Saltville it produced chlorine and caustic soda, producing a considerable amount of methyl mercury—by the company's own estimates, up to 100 pounds per day—into the soils and the North fork of the Holston River. This site was declared a Superfund site in 1982. In 1952, the Mathieson Chemical Company, as it was known by then, acquired the pharmaceutical firm of E.R. Squibb & Sons, spun off in 1968 and now part of Bristol-Myers Squibb.  
Olin announced the sale of its Brass Division in October of 2007, but also claimed they lost $140 million in the sale.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Olin_Corp.". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|