What does Ciba-Geigy AG mean?
In 1970, a Swiss multinational holding company, Ciba-Geigy AG, was created as a result of a Basel-based merger – Ciba AG and J.R. Geigy SA.
The group consists of affiliates in some 50 countries and is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of dyes and chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and additives, agricultural chemicals and fertilisers, photographic products, household and garden products, and toiletries.
Heddels explains Ciba-Geigy AG
Johann Rudolph Geigy started the company J.R. Geigy SA in 1758, selling “materialwaren” such as indigo and other dyestuffs, pharmaceutical supplies, spices, and coffee.
The dyes sold better than the other materials; thus, the company began to focus more heavily on that aspect of the business, selling dye powders and financing research for synthetic dyes. Geigy developed its first synthetic dye, fuchsine, in 1859 and by the late nineteenth century was one of the major dye manufacturers of Europe.
The company expanded to the US in the early twentieth century, establishing its first American plant in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1934. In 1971, it merged with Ciba AG to form Ciba-Geigy AG, shifting its interests away from dyes to pharmaceuticals.
This company later merged with Sandoz to become Novartis in 1996. The remaining section of the company focused on dye was sold to Huntsman Chemicals in 2006. Today, the majority of dyes are manufactured abroad in China and India.
The Geigy factory in Switzerland in 1900:
The Bayonne plant in 1968: