Back in the 1970’s and ’80s, Westport was “the marketing capital of the world.” Our long heritage as an artists’ colony is also well known.
But even before that — when the death industry was just being born — we were home to the leading embalmers’ supply company on the planet.
It was formed in 1886 as a partnership between 2 Germans: inventor C.B. Dolge and pharmacist Max Huncke.
Four years later, the firm moved to Westport. In 1893 Dolge bought out his partner, and incorporated under the simple name The Embalmers’ Supply Company.
It manufactured embalming fluids using arsenic (formaldehyde was not yet available), as well as accessories like pumps and goosenecks, without which a body could not be embalmed.
After many years at 14 Wilton Road, Embalmers’ Supply moved to Ford Road — across the river from where Bridgewater is now. So the world’s biggest embalming supply company has been replaced (sort of) by the world’s largest hedge fund.
Today the company is called ESCO. It’s located in East Lyme — no connection to the “lime” once used to dispose of a corpse — and is strictly a chemical business.
(Hat tip: Seth Schachter)