Dow Corning Corporation $5000 bond certificate 1975
Great vignette of a chemist working in a laboratory, company name in the background. Issued and cancelled. Stock-sized bond for $5000. Dated 1975.
Dow Corning is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, USA, and is an equally owned joint venture of Dow Chemical and Corning formed in 1943. Dow Corning specializes in silicone and silicon-based technology, and is the largest silicone product producer in the world.
Dow Corning was formally established in in 1943 to explore the potential of silicone and was a manufacturer of products for use by the U.S. military in World War II. The company began operating its first plant, in Midland, MI, in 1945. Dr. E. C. Sullivan was named president, and Dr. William R. Collings was named general manager in 1943. Dr. Collings later became president from 1954 until 1962. It expanded into Canada and Europe in 1948, and into South America and Japan in 1961.
A large, majority-owned subsidiary of Dow Corning Corporation is the Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation. It is one of the world's largest producers of high-purity polycrystalline silicon, which is sold in varying purity grades for use in both semiconductor silicon wafer manufacture and photovoltaics applications as solar cells.
Dow Corning markets over 7000 products include various sealants, adhesives, rubbers, lubricants, silicon oils and solvents. The range of industries targeted by Dow Corning products spans from electronics and automotive to construction, healthcare and others. In recent years, the company has expanded production of solar cells, particularly through its majority stake in Hemlock, which accounts for a polysilicon franchise worth over $1 billion. In 2011, then-CTO Gregg Zank explained that the company tries to focus its product development on societal “megatrends” (e.g. energy scarcity and urbanization).
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, class-action lawsuits claimed that Dow Corning's silicone breast implants caused systemic health problems. The claims first centered around breast cancer and then migrated to a range of autoimmune diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and various neurological problems. This led to numerous lawsuits beginning in 1984 and culminating in a 1998 multibillion-dollar class action settlement. As a result, Dow Corning was in bankruptcy protection for nine years, ending in June 2004 during which time it largely withdrew from clinical markets.
A number of large, independent reviews of the scientific literature, including the Institute of Medicine in the United States, have subsequently found that silicone breast implants do not cause breast cancers or any identifiable systemic disease.