1901 — Otto Röhm wrote his thesis "On the Polymerization Products of Acrylic Acid." Otto Rohm's research established a new set of polymers that would later become Plexiglas® acrylic.
1907 — Otto Röhm and his friend, Otto Haas, formed a German business partnership that assisted the bating process when turning animal hides into leather.
1908 — An American branch of this partnership opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1911 — Röhm and Haas began research in the field of acrylics. This research provided the framework of a sturdy but flexible material that would become Plexiglas® acrylic.
1917 — The US enters World War I against Germany. Fearing confiscation, Dr. Otto Röhm and Mr. Otto Haas successfully convinced the US government that the American division of their company is managed separately from the German division. Rohm and Haas becomes incorporated in Delaware and obtains the North American, South American, and Spanish assets of the old partnership.
1931 — The two companies reach an agreement that permits the incorporated American Rohm and Haas Company to subsidize acrylic research for the German Röhm and Haas in exchange for North American rights to the results.
1933 — By polymerizing raw materials between two pieces of glass, Rohm and Haas invented a transparent and break-resistant material - and it was soon trademarked as Plexiglas® acrylic.
1937 — Rohm and Haas presented Plexiglas® at the
World's Fair in Paris. The exhibit included a transparent violin and won the company the gold medal.
1941 — With the passage of the Lend-Lease Act, Plexiglas® acrylic production skyrocketed. Its sturdy and transparent properties made it excellent for cockpits, windows, and gunner enclosures on aircraft.
1945 — By the conclusion of World War II, Rohm and Haas Company was, for the first time, completely dependent on its own research for the development of new products and innovations.
1947 — The sudden ending of the war meant that the largest customers of Plexiglas® acrylic - aircraft manufacturers - were no longer buying large amounts of acrylic sheet. Sales dipped, and the largest market for Plexiglas® acrylic consisted of three jukebox manufacturers.
1949 — Sales of Plexiglas® acrylic were steadily increasing. Businesses found Plexiglas® acrylic useful in products like automobile taillights and illuminated, colored signs. Architects also utilized Plexiglas® acrylic for lighting fixtures and skylights.
1951 — With the onset of the Korean War, Plexiglas® acrylic was again used for cockpits and windows on military aircraft. However, the use of Plexiglas® acrylic was growing in the consumer market - everyday items like hair dryers, shavers, and glasses created a demand for the durable acrylic.
1958 — Rohm and Haas Company was now marketing Plexiglas® acrylic as well as its other products, in foreign markets. By 1958, plants and offices were scattered throughout Europe, Canada, and Mexico.
1965 — Acrylics sales skyrocketed during the first half of the 1960s. Plexiglas® acrylic was now a dominant force in the illuminated sign market and had an excellent reputation with architectural products.
1968 — Rohm and Haas Company began manufacturing Plexiglas® acrylic resins in Louisville, KY. Other resin plants would soon open in other cities throughout North America.
1975 — By the mid-1970s, plants and research centers were operating throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Pacific. Plexiglas® acrylic was being sold to businesses and governments throughout the world.
1992 — Elf Atochem S.A. in France and Rohm and Haas Company in the United States formed a global joint venture called AtoHaas. In the United States the company was called AtoHaas Americas Inc.
1998 — Elf Atochem S.A. acquired full ownership of AtoHaas from Rohm and Haas Company. In the United States, Elf Atochem North America, Inc. acquired full ownership of AtoHaas Americas Inc. The new division was named Atoglas and continued operations at sheet and resin plants in Bristol, PA; Kensington, CT; Louisville, KY, and Matamoros, Mexico.
1999 — AtoHaas Americas Inc. merged into Elf Atochem North America, Inc., becoming a business group called Atoglas.
2000 — Elf Atochem North America, Inc. changed its name to ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc. (Atoglas was unaffected by the change.)
2004 — ATOFINA Chemicals, Inc. changed its name to Arkema Inc. (Atoglas was unaffected by the change.)
2005 — Atoglas becomes Altuglas International. In North America and Latin America, the acrylic products are trademarked under Plexiglas® acrylic resin and sheet. In the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, the acrylic products are trademarked as Altuglas® resin and sheet.