"When it rains, it pours."
|Founded||Chicago (1848) by Joy Morton|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.|
Morton Salt is a United States company producing salt for food, water conditioning, industrial, agricultural, and road/highway use. Based in Chicago, the business is North America's leading producer and marketer of salt. It is a subsidiary of the German company K+S.
The company began in Chicago, Illinois, in 1848 as a small sales agency, E. I. Wheeler, started by the Onondaga salt companies to sell their salt to the midwest. In 1910, the business, which had by that time become both a manufacturer and a merchant of salt, was incorporated as the Morton Salt Company. It was named after the owner and founder, Joy Morton, the son of J. Sterling Morton who founded Arbor Day. Joy Morton starting working for E. I. Wheeler in 1880, buying into the company for $10,000, with which he bought a fleet of lake boats to move salt west. In 1982, the business was purchased by Thiokol Corporation, producing Morton Thiokol Incorporated (MTI). Morton Thiokol divested itself of Morton in 1989, following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which was blamed on Morton Thiokol products. Morton received the company's consumer chemical products divisions, while Thiokol retained only the space propulsion systems concern.
In 1999 Morton Salt was acquired by the Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas Company, Inc. and operated as a division of that company along with the Canadian Salt Company (which Morton had acquired in 1954).
On 2 April 2009, it was reported that Morton Salt was being acquired by German fertilizer and salt company K+S for a total enterprise value of US$1.7bn. The sale, completed by October 2009, was in conjunction with the Dow Chemical Company's takeover of Rohm and Haas.
The Morton Salt Company's headquarters address is 123 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606. Prior to its acquisition in 1999, the firm's corporate headquarters was at 100 N. Riverside Plaza (later the headquarters of Boeing) and before that at 110 N. Wacker Drive and 208 W. Washington Street
Morton Salt's hand-drawn logo features the "Morton Salt Girl," a young girl walking in the rain with an opened umbrella and scattering salt behind her from a cylindrical container of table salt, and is one of the ten best-known symbols in the United States. The company's logo (from 1914) and its motto, "When it rains it pours" (from 1911), were developed to illustrate the point that Morton Salt was free flowing even in rainy weather after the company began adding magnesium carbonate as an absorbing agent to its table salt in 1911 to ensure that it poured freely; calcium silicate is now used instead for the same purpose. The "Umbrella Girl" has gone through six different iterations within advertising campaigns; the company sells associated memorabilia and makes some of its vintage advertisements freely available.
Morton Salt is the sponsor of the Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) botanical garden in Lisle, Illinois. It was established by Joy Morton, the company's founder, in 1922 to encourage the display and study of shrubs, trees, and vines. About 300,000 visitors a year hike on miles of trails, and over 3,600 kinds of plants are displayed.
In popular culture
In 2005, the Morton Salt Girl appeared in a MasterCard commercial in which many different icons from food or house products meet for dinner. Among these icons were the Jolly Green Giant, the Gorton's Fisherman, Count Chocula, Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Peanut, Chef Boyardee, Jovny the Vlasic Stork and Mr. Clean. She pokes the Pillsbury Doughboy in the stomach, causing him to let out his signature giggle.
- "Contact Us." Morton Salt. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
- "The History of Morton Salt". mortonsalt.com. Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- "The Morton Salt Timeline". mortonsalt.com. Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Kurlansky, Mark. (2002)Salt: A world history. New York: Penguin Books
- K+S acquires Morton Salt – Transaction creates global leader in salt, Press Release, April 2, 2009.
- Goldstein, Steve; Hinton, Christopher (April 2, 2009). "Dow Chemical shakes off Morton to pay down debt". MarketWatch (Dow Jones & Co). Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "Dow Chemical's Rohm and Haas agrees to sell salt business to Germany's K+S Aktiengesellschaft – Update". International Business Times. April 2, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- Craymer, Lucy (September 28, 2009). "Dow gets clearance to sell Morton to K+S, can now pay loan". ICIS. Retrieved September 25, 2013.
- "208 W. Washington, Sudler Property Management, Chicago IL". sudlerchicago.com. Sudler Property Management. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "When It Rains it Pours Girl is 75 this week". The Post-Tribune (Indiana). September 5, 1989. p. B4.
- Morton Salt logo history.
- Morton Salt on line store.
- Gallery of Morton Salt advertisements.
- "Morton Salt in the Community". mortonsalt.com. Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008.
- Morton Salt – Official site