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Grace History


​​​​A Story  of Innovation and Change

GCP Applied Technologies Inc. traces its history to its predecessor companies W. R. Grace & Co., founded in 1854, and the Dewey and Almy Chemical Company, founded in 1919.  Grace acquired Dewey and Almy in 1954, and GCP was created as the spin-off of Grace's Construction Products segment and Darex Packaging Technologies businesses in 2016.

Bradley Dewey and Charles Almy started their namesake business at the Whittemore​ Avenue location in Cambridge, MA still occupied by GCP.  The company developed the first can sealants to replace lead solder in 1922. Over a decade later, it entered the cement business by creating a new class of cement processing additives called grinding aids. That same year, the advent of the beer can prompted Dewey and Almy to develop a new can sealant to preserve purity and taste. In 1941, responding to the needs of a world at war, the company created a synthetic substitute for natural rubber can and bottle sealants. 

Two years after Grace acquired Dewey and Almy, the company introduced water-reducing and retarding concrete admixtures in 1956. Grace Construction Products was established as an operating unit of the company in 1969, based in Cambridge. From this location, many innovations have been developed to help create a global leader in the cement, concrete, and building products industries.

Meanwhile, from its beginnings in Cambridge, the Darex packaging business has grown to become the world's leader in can sealants and a leading supplier of closure sealants, can coatings, and closure coatings to the packaged food and beverage industry. Today, Darex helps protect the products of many of the world's most recognized consumer brands. 


William R. GraceWilliam Russell Grace founds W. R. Grace & Co. in Peru.


Historic buildingW. R. Grace & Co. relocates to New York City and begins triangular trade with South America and Europe.


W. R. Grace & Co. is formally chartered.


Statue of LibertyWilliam Russell Grace, mayor of New York City, accepts the Statue of Liberty from the people of France.


ShipGrace inaugurates steamship service between New York and the west coast of South America.


W. R. Grace & Co. incorporates.


Joseph P. GraceJoseph P. Grace becomes company president.


Ship passing through Panama CanalGrace establishes the Grace National Bank, forerunner of Marine Midland Bank. Grace sends the first commercial vessel through the newly constructed Panama Canal.


Santa RosaThe Santa Ana is christened as the first of the Grace Line passenger ships. She and sister ships, Santa Elisa, Santa Teresa, Santa Rosa and Santa Paula, all are drafted into war service to ferry troops for the next two years.


Bradley Dewey and Charles Almy found Dewey & Almy Chemical Company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Darex productsDewey & Almy develop first can sealants to replace lead solder.


Panagra planeGrace and Pan American Airways jointly form Panagra, establishing the first air link between the Americas.


Dewey & Almy enters the cement business by creating a new class of cement processing additives called grinding aids. The advent of the beer can prompts Dewey & Almy's development of a new sealant that preserves purity and taste.


Old containersResponding to the needs of a world at war, Dewey & Almy finds a synthetic substitute for natural rubber can and bottle sealants.


J. Peter GraceJ. Peter Grace becomes president of W. R. Grace & Co. at age 32.


Stock certificateW. R. Grace & Co. lists on the New York Stock Exchange with ticker symbol GRA. Davison opens the Lake Charles, Louisiana plant for fluid cracking catalysts.


Grace acquires Davison Chemical Company and Dewey & Almy Chemical Company, establishing the basis for the Company's catalysts, packaging, silicas and construction product lines. Cryovac® packaging operations spin off from Dewey & Almy.


Dewey & Almy introduces water-reducing and retarding concrete admixtures.


Grace builds its Washington Research Center, the largest industrial chemicals research center in Maryland.


Business Week magazine coverThe company introduces Cryovac® Type L plastic shrink film to protect meats and poultry.


North American headquarters and research facility is built for Cryovac packaging operations in Duncan, South Carolina.


The company acquires the Zonolite® insulation and specialty products company and Servicised, a manufacturer of waterproofing materials. 

Packaging operations are expanded in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Australia.


The company develops a breakthrough method of waterproofing with the introduction of Bituthene® waterproofing membrane, replacing paint-on waterproofing. A new high-performance sealant is introduced in the form of twist-off caps.


Cryovac® Market-Ready packaging for centrally processed beef is introduced.

Monokote® sprayed-on fireproofing is introduced, providing a durable alternative to low-density fireproofing to protect structural steel against the ravages of fire.


Grace Construction Products is established in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Grace Line is sold.


Packaging operations are expanded in Argentina.


Grace Ice & Water Shield® roofing underlayment is introduced;  a new membrane technology to protect against wind-driven rain and ice dams.


Darex® Corrosion Inhibitor is introduced, to prevent concrete deterioration in bridges, roadways and buildings exposed to road salts and marine environments.


The company revolutionizes modern cooking techniques with the introduction of Cryovac® cook-in bags for institutional-sized quantities of foods. Daramelt® and Darawave® container sealant systems are introduced, for food, beverage, household and industrial applications.


The company introduces Daracem® 100 concrete superplasticizer.

A new packaging system for bulk liquid and semi-liquid food products is introduced.


ShanghaiGrace becomes the first wholly foreign-owned company to do business in The People's Republic of China with its can sealing plant in Shanghai. Grace introduces XP octane-enhancing fluid cracking catalysts for petroleum refiners.


Construction products operations in Japan are expanded. Monokote® Type MK-6 is introduced, utilizing a patented injection system that reduces the time and expense required to fireproof high-rise structures.


The company acquires Forrer Industries, a leading supplier of masonry block products.


J. Peter Grace retires as CEO, a position he held for 48 years, making him the longest reigning CEO of a public company. J. P. Bolduc succeeds him as CEO.


The company introduces revolutionary oxygen-scavenging seals for beer bottle crowns worldwide to retain freshness and taste without preservatives. The company builds its first construction products and container sealants plant in Indonesia.


Grace begins manufacturing packaging materials in Russia.


J. Peter GraceJ. Peter Grace, company chairman, business leader and philanthropist dies at age 82. Albert J. Costello joins Grace as president, chairman and CEO. Grace acquires Cormix Construction Chemicals, expanding market penetration in the United Kingdom, Middle East and Asia Pacific.


Grace shareholders realize significant value after Grace receives approximately $3 billion in after-tax cash proceeds from the disposition of several noncore businesses. Grace builds its first packaging and silica products plant in Malaysia and expands construction products business into India and Vietnam.


Grace significantly improves its capital structure by completing a stock repurchase that returns 28 million shares of Grace common stock to the Company treasury. Grace announces plans to merge its Cryovac packaging business with Sealed Air Corporation in a tax-free transaction. Procor™ fluid-applied waterproofing is introduced, a liquid alternative to sheet membrane waterproofing.


Paul J. NorrisThe Cryovac packaging business is merged with Sealed Air Corporation in a transaction valued at more than $6 billion. The new company emerges as a global specialty chemicals company, focusing on catalysts and silica products, specialty construction chemicals and building materials, and container protection products. Paul J. Norris joins Grace as CEO.


Paul Norris becomes Chairman. The company relocates its corporate headquarters to Columbia, Maryland. The Performance Chemicals unit is formed, comprising construction chemicals and materials, and Darex Container Products.


Grace continues successful bolt-on acquisition strategy with the Crosfield Groups hydroprocessing business, the International Protective Coatings firestop products and systems business, the LUDOX® colloidal silicas business, and the Hampshire Polymers business.


W. R. Grace & Co. announces on April 2, 2001 that the Company voluntarily filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in response to a sharply increasing number of asbestos claims. This Chapter 11 filing includes 62 of Grace's domestic entities. None of the Company's foreign subsidiaries are included in this filing.

Grace Performance Chemicals acquires Pieri SA's construction chemicals business.


PentagonGrace Performance Chemicals acquires a leading supplier of specialty chemicals to the concrete paver and masonry industries, Addiment, Inc.

Grace Performance Chemicals joins the National Roofing Contractors Association and donates more than 40,000 square feet of Grace Ice & Water Shield, a watertight roof underlayment to help repair and replace a part of the Pentagon roof in Washington, DC.


Fred Festa Fred Festa is named President and Chief Operating Officer of W. R. Grace & Co. in November 2003.

Grace Performance Chemicals acquires certain assets of Tricosal Beton-Chemie GmbH & Co.,
a leading supplier of specialty chemicals and materials to the European construction industry.


Grace acquires:
  • Midland Dexter Venezuela, S. A., a supplier of coatings and sealants for rigid packaging in the local and export markets of Latin America;
  • Perstorp Peramin Ab, a concrete admixture business in Sweden.

The company expands in China with the opening of a new office in Shanghai and a technical service center in Beijing..


Grace opens a manufacturing facility in Tennessee to produce products for residential and commercial construction. 


the company expands its R&D capabilities in Europe with the official opening of an innovation center in Poznan, Poland. The facility develops new technology platforms and products for customers in the construction and packaging industries.

A new manufacturing facility is open for cement processing additives and concrete admixtures in the Hoc Mon District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.


Fred Festa becomes Chairman of the Board of Directors in January 2008.

Under ongoing Chapter 11 protection, Grace reaches a settlement of the personal injury claims on September 19, 2008.  With the other parties to the settlement now co-proponents, Grace files a Joint Plan of Reorganization with the Bankruptcy Court.  Under the plan, all pending and future asbestos-related claims are channeled to two independent trusts established to compensate asbestos personal injury claimants and property owners.  The plan also provides that all non-asbestos creditors will be paid in full on the date of Grace's emergence from Chapter 11.


A Customer Centre of Excellence near Barcelona, Spain is opened as is a manufacturing facility in Chennai, India  for the production of specialty chemicals used in commercial, infrastructure and residential construction.


The company acquires Wuhan Meilixin New Building Materials Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of waterproofing products located in China.


The company opens a cement additives and concrete admixtures facility near Delhi, India.

Gregory E. Poling is elected Grace's President and Chief Operating Officer. Fred Festa remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.


The company acquires Chemind Construction Products, a privately-held specialty manufacturer and distributor of waterproofing coatings technologies and materials for the design and construction industry, located in Brisbane, Australia.


Grace's Joint Plan of Reorganization became effective February 3 , marking the company's emergence from Chapter 11.


The company announces plans to separate into two, leading publicly-traded Grace-logo-COLOR.jpg
companies.  The spin-off company will include Grace Construction Products segment
and the Darex Packaging Technologies business.

Later in the year, the company introduces the name and logo of the new entity: 
GCP Applied Technologies Inc.​


​On February 3, GCP Applied Technologies Inc. begins trading on the New York Stock
Exchange under the symbol GCP and the company entered a new era.  Company headquarters returns to the same site in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the Dewy & Almy Chemical Company was formed in 1919, some 97 years prior.

Gregory E. Poling, former President and Chief Operating Officer of W. R. Grace & Co., assumes leadership of GCP Applied Technologies Inc. as its President and Chief Executive Officer.