Carus Chemical was founded in 1915 by Dr. Edward Carus. He was born in LaSalle, Illinois in 1890. He received a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1912 at the University of Wisconsin. In 1912-13, he studied at Cambridge. He did post-graduate studies at the University of Goettingen in Germany. For a year (1914-1915), he taught at the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He then returned to LaSalle.
The Carus Plant is located on 8th Street in LaSalle. It was set up to provide a supply of potassium permanganate. There was a shortage of this material during World War 1. The company specializes in manganese products such as permanganates and magnesium oxides. At one time Carus also produced hydroquinone (photography developer) and manganese sulfate (used in fertilizer in the citrus industry. However, these two products have not been manufactured since the 1970’s.
During his presidency, Dr. Carus concentrated on optimizing and stream lining production. He was successful in this goal.
Edward was succeeded by his sons Blouke and Paul in the late 1950’s. They concentrated on modernization and expansion of markets. They concentrated on their core product permanganates. These are powerful oxidants. They have may uses: 1) organic synthesis; 2) purification of air, drinking water, and waste water; 3) descaling of metals; 4) manufacturing of printed circuit boards.
The two brothers were successful in creating new markets. They established mergers with Technical Products Corp., Kjell Corp., Industrial Quimica del Nalon of Spain.