Going Global and the First Era of Commercialization


Boom Years and International Expansion

As Dow grew rapidly during the 1960s, Dow accelerated its global expansion and established manufacturing plants throughout the world. As manufacturing expanded, R&D expanded and Dow set up technical centers to ensure the best technology was available at each location. The postwar years also ushered in Dow’s commercialization of a wide range of household products – from Saran Wrap® to Scrubbing Bubbles®. By 1974, Dow was the most profitable chemical company in the world. Learn more about Dow’s diversification and growth following World War II.

Science and Space:
One Giant Leap for Mankind

When astronaut Neil Armstrong first planted his boot on the moon, its sole was made from Dow Corning’s rubber silicone. The Apollo XI Mission used Dow Corning silicone sealants, rubber (hoses), potting compounds and insulation. Dow technology also played a small role in the moon landing; its epoxy resins were used in the spacecraft’s heat shield. The resins were charred during re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere but effectively absorbed the 5,000-degree heat.

“I want to say one word to you, Benjamin Just
one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”

– Mr. Maguire, giving career advice to Benjamin in the 1967 film The Graduate


Dow purchases a manufacturing site in Terneuzen, The Netherlands


Handi-Wrap® plastic film wrap is introduced.
Dow annual sales exceed $1 billion.
Dow reorganizes and sets up three international headquarters outside of Midland – Dow Europe, Dow Latin America and Dow Pacific.


Dow’s one-shot measles vaccine is introduced.


Dow adds epoxy resins to its product mix.


Ziploc® bags are test-marketed.


Dow introduces an automotive product line.


Dow launches Lorsban® insecticide.


Dow becomes the first foreign industrial company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Dow supplies STYROFOAM™ brand insulation for the Alaskan Pipeline.

®Saran Wrap, Ziploc and Scrubbing Bubbles and logos are trademarks of S.C. Johnson and Son Inc.
®Handi-Wrap and logo are trademarks of Cornerstone Enterprises LLC