Morton Salt

Morton Salt
Morton Salt
Type Subsidiary
Founded Chicago (1848)
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Products Salt
Parent K+S
Website [1]
Morton Salt, product packaging.jpg

Morton Salt is a United States company producing salt for food, water conditioning, industrial, agricultural, and road/highway use. Based in Chicago,[1] the business is North America's leading producer and marketer of salt. It is a subsidiary of the German company K+S.



The company began in Chicago, Illinois, in 1848 as a small sales agency. In 1910, the business, which had by that time become both a manufacturer and a merchant of salt, was incorporated as the Morton Salt Company.[2] In 1982, Morton was purchased by Thiokol Corporation, producing Morton Thiokol Incorporated (MTI). Morton Thiokol divested itself of Morton in 1989, following the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, which was blamed on Morton Thiokol products. Morton received the company's consumer chemical products divisions, while Thiokol retained only the space propulsion systems concern.

In 1999 Morton Salt was acquired by the Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas Company, Inc. and operated as a division of that company[2] along with the Canadian Salt Company (which Morton had acquired in 1954).[3]

On 2 April 2009, it was reported that Morton Salt was being acquired by German fertilizer and salt company K+S for a total enterprise value of US$1.7bn.[4] The sale, completed by October 2009, was in conjunction with the Dow Chemical Company's takeover of Rohm and Haas.[5][6]

Company information

The Morton Salt company's headquarters is 123 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606. Prior to their acquisition in 1999, their corporate headquarters was 100 N Riverside Plaza (later the headquarters of Boeing).

Acquired in 1954,[3] the company's main facility, the second-largest solar saline operation in North America, is in Matthew Town, Inagua, The Bahamas.

Morton Salt's hand-drawn logo features the "Morton Salt Girl," a young girl walking in the rain with an opened umbrella and scattering salt behind her from a cylindrical container of table salt, and is one of the ten best-known symbols in the United States.[7] The company's logo (from 1914), and its motto, "When it rains it pours" (from 1911), were developed to illustrate the point that Morton Salt was free flowing, even in rainy weather. Originally, the company had added magnesium carbonate as an absorbing agent to ensure that its table salt poured freely; calcium silicate is now used instead for the same purpose.[2] The "Umbrella Girl" has gone through six different iterations within advertising campaigns;[8] the company sells associated memorabilia[9] and makes some of its vintage advertisements freely available.[10]

The American punk rock band Jawbreaker used the Morton Salt Girl logo as one of their band promo shirts with the original motto changed to "when it pains it roars".

In 2005 the Morton Salt Girl appeared in a MasterCard commercial in which many different icons from food or house products meet for dinner. Among these icons were the Jolly Green Giant, the Gorton's Fisherman, Count Chocula, Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Peanut, Chef Boyardee, Jovny the Vlasic Stork and Mr. Clean. She pokes the Pillsbury Doughboy in the stomach, causing him to let out his signature giggle.[11]

The founder of the Morton Salt company, Joy Morton, was the son of J. Sterling Morton,[3] who was the founder of Arbor Day.

Morton Salt is the sponsor of the Morton Arboretum, a 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) botanical garden in Lisle, Illinois. It was established by Joy Morton, the company's founder, in 1922 to encourage the display and study of shrubs, trees, and vines.[3] About 300,000 visitors a year hike on miles of trails, and over 3,600 kinds of plants are displayed.[12]

See also

Portal icon Chicago portal
Portal icon Companies portal
Portal icon Food portal


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Morton Salt. Retrieved on December 23, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "The History of Morton Salt". Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Morton Salt Timeline". Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 
  4. ^ K+S acquires Morton Salt – Transaction creates global leader in salt, Press Release, April 2, 2009.
  5. ^ Chicago Tribune.,0,4406077.story. 
  6. ^ "Dow Sells Of Morton For $1.675 Billion". Pharmaceutical Business Review. October 2, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2009. 
  7. ^ "When It Rains it Pours Girl is 75 this week". The Post-Tribune (Indiana): p. B4. September 5, 1989. 
  8. ^ Morton Salt logo history.
  9. ^ Morton Salt on line store.
  10. ^ Gallery of Morton Salt advertisements.
  11. ^ Commercial.
  12. ^ "Morton Salt in the Community". Morton International. Retrieved 15 December 2008. 

External links

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