The birth of Italy’s process industries can arguably be traced back to around 700 B.C. and the Etruscans. According to archaeological discoveries, the people of Etruria — an ancient region of Central Italy — were the first in the West to have workshops for forging iron. The first glimpse of Italy’s chemicals industries as we know them today, however, did not appear until the late 19th century with the establishment of its first three chemical companies: Azienda Coloranti Nazionali e Affini (ACNA) in 1882 at Cengio; Menarini Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite (Menarini) in 1886 at Naples; and Società Anonima delle Miniere di Montecatini (Montecatini) in 1888 at Montecatini. These early companies were established to satisfy the basic needs of that period such as dyes for the textile industry and explosives for military applications. In fact, ACNA, despite having an Italian acronym that translates as National Dyes Company and Affiliates, was first contracted to produce dynamite, rather than dyes. Menarini was Italy’s first pharmaceutical company — and today the Menarini Group remains vital as Italy’s largest pharmaceutical group. Tuscany-based Montecatini had its roots in the mining industry, exploiting the region’s copper mines. After the discovery of pyrite in Tuscany, Montecatini shifted its efforts to the production of sulfuric acid, later making its mark in ammonia production and becoming known for its widely-used Montecatini-Fauser process for fertilizer production.

Innovation and Italy's Chemical Industries

COLOMBO, SIMONE
1992-01-01

Abstract

The birth of Italy’s process industries can arguably be traced back to around 700 B.C. and the Etruscans. According to archaeological discoveries, the people of Etruria — an ancient region of Central Italy — were the first in the West to have workshops for forging iron. The first glimpse of Italy’s chemicals industries as we know them today, however, did not appear until the late 19th century with the establishment of its first three chemical companies: Azienda Coloranti Nazionali e Affini (ACNA) in 1882 at Cengio; Menarini Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite (Menarini) in 1886 at Naples; and Società Anonima delle Miniere di Montecatini (Montecatini) in 1888 at Montecatini. These early companies were established to satisfy the basic needs of that period such as dyes for the textile industry and explosives for military applications. In fact, ACNA, despite having an Italian acronym that translates as National Dyes Company and Affiliates, was first contracted to produce dynamite, rather than dyes. Menarini was Italy’s first pharmaceutical company — and today the Menarini Group remains vital as Italy’s largest pharmaceutical group. Tuscany-based Montecatini had its roots in the mining industry, exploiting the region’s copper mines. After the discovery of pyrite in Tuscany, Montecatini shifted its efforts to the production of sulfuric acid, later making its mark in ammonia production and becoming known for its widely-used Montecatini-Fauser process for fertilizer production.
chemical industry; Italy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/853135
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