Powder Man




More than 175 years of experience goes into every Austin Powder product you use.

Austin Powder Timeline

Workers in Front of Screen House

Canal Locks for Barge Shipping

Wheel Mill

Horse Power

Newburg Mill

Newburg Mill & Railroad Tracks

View of Glenwillow, circa 1900

N.T. Alexander

Break House by Lake

V.H. Moorehouse

Soda House

Wheel Mill with Powder Kegs

Steam Lines to Powder Mills

Workers and Carpenter and Keg Shops

David Gleason

Industriales Austin de Costa Rica, Esparza, Costa Rica

A.J. Dickson

Petroquimica Boliviana, Warnes, Bolivia

David True

Austin Detonator, Czech Republic

Jim Boldt

Austin Powder's Roots

1828 - Austin Powder’s roots begin with the Austin brothers manufacturing black powder for ammunition at their small ball mill on the Deerfield River in Wilmington, Vermont.

1832 - With business slow, five Austin Brothers Daniel, age 29, Alvin 27, Lorenzo 18, Henry 18, and Linus 16, head “west” from Wilmington, Vermont to find a site for a powder mill. They traveled as far west as Kansas City, Missouri.

1833-1871, Akron Ohio

1833 - The Austin Brothers discovered the market for Austin products was too small, so began traveling again. They established their powder mill along the Little Cuyahoga River in Akron, Ohio, and opened the Austin Powder Co.

1834-1871 - The Austin Powder plant had steady business from the prosperous coal mining and iron industry.

1867 - 1909, Newburg, Ohio manufacturing facility

1867 - Austin purchased the Cleveland Powder Company in Newburgh, just southeast of Cleveland. The new location, adjacent the Ohio Canal, and the major railroads in the region, enabled Austin to advantageously ship west as well as east.

Austin Powder Company was incorporated for “the sale of blasting, mining, shipping, cannon, meal and sporting powder.” Daniel H. Austin was the first president and Linus Austin, secretary.

1871 - Austin sold its Akron “Powder Patch” and combined both mills in Cleveland.

1874 - Daniel Austin died at age 71. He was succeeded by Linus Austin. R.T. Coleman became secretary.

1887 - Linus dies April 19. He was the last of the founding brothers. R.T. Coleman became president. J.H. McBride vice president. Almon Lent secretary. J.D. Alexander joins Austin Powder as chief accountant and inaugurates an extensive investment program, purchasing stock in other powder concerns of the day.

1888-1981 Glenwillow, Ohio Manufacturing Facility

1888-1892 - Austin purchased about 1000 acres of land at Glenwillow, a small farm community southeast of Cleveland, and builds a powder plant.

1895 - Austin Cartridge Co. was formed to insure continued success of the sporting and rifle powder phase of the business, also in Glenwillow.

1900 - Death of President R.T. Coleman. He was succeeded by Almon Lent.

1904 - Board of directors voted to gradually reduce manufacturing activities at Newburgh due to declines in sales of sporting powder and Cleveland’s population expanding in the Newburgh direction.

1905 - $60,000 was invested to double Glenwillow’s blasting powder capacity.

1907 - Austin Cartridge Co. was sold for $195,000 to the Olin Company of St. Louis.

All Newburgh manufacturing was permanently suspended and facilities were converted to magazine use.

1913 - All remaining Newburgh activity was transferred to Glenwillow.

DuPont buys a 25% stake in Austin Powder.

1914 - Death of Almon Lent. J.K. Kendrick succeeded him. J. D. Alexander was elected vice president and treasurer.

1929 - After serving in WWI, N.T. Alexander joins Austin in the sales department. His brother A.D. Alexander joins the company in manufacturing. The brothers are the sons of J.D. Alexander.

1930 - Austin purchased 1165 acres in Vinton County east of McArthur, Ohio to facilitate dynamite production.

1931 - First Austin dynamite was produced, September 19th.

1940 - J.K. Kendrick died and succeeded by V.H. Moorehouse. N.T. Alexander elected vice president, A.D. Alexander secretary, J.G. Murray, treasurer.

1940-1946 - During WWII, Glenwillow production was shifted to military explosives.

1941 - N.T. Alexander and family purchased majority of stock (controlling interest) from DuPont.

1948 - A research and development plan was launched at Glenwillow for detonating cord in response to a dramatic declining use of black powder.

1950 - Austin’s first "field" technical training program was established.

1955 - Production facilities were established in Madisonville, KY and Glenwillow, OH to manufacture Akremite, the forerunner of today's ANFO blasting agents.

1960 - The first cast primer line was built at Glenwillow and the first “Bulk Loaded” mix truck was put in service in Roger City, Michigan.

1961 - A.D. Alexander retires. N.T. Alexander was elected chairman of the board. V.H. Moorehouse elected president; David M. Gleason elected vice president and general manager.

1961 - Creation of manufacturing facility in LaFollette, Tennessee.

1966 - David Gleason elected president following retirement of Mr. Moorehouse.

1967 - Upon the death of N.T. Alexander, David Gleason elected President CEO.

In a major expansion, Austin opens sales offices in all four corners and most regions of the continental U.S.

1970 - J.O. Bicket, B.T. Calder elected vice presidents and A.J. Dickson treasurer.


1986 - Michael Gleason elected V.P. and C.O.O.

1987 - Austin enters into agreement with Schaffler & Co., a detonator manufacturer in Vienna, Austria.

Austin purchased control of Empress National Explosive Co. (ENAEX) of Chile and shortly thereafter a minority interest in Explocen of Quito, Ecuador.

1991 - Austin Powder creates a maquiladora with Schaffler & Co. and builds two factories: Austin Star Detonator builds a factory on 200 acres in Brownsville, Texas and Detonadoras Estrella builds a plant in Mexico. Both plants manufacture initiation systems for the world market.

1992 - Formation of Austin Powder Bolivia S.A.

1993 - Austin purchased Explosives Company of Argentina.

1995 - Bought Fertica in Costa Rica - a fertilizer company making ammonium nitrate.

1996 - Austin purchased Lodinsa in Costa Rica and forms Austin de Centra America, S.A. and Austin Carribean S.A.

1997 - Formed Austin Bacis, S.A. Mexico by purchasing DuPont Mexicos Explosives Division in Dinimita.

1998 - Purchased Petroquimica Boliviana S.A. (PQB) in Santa Cruz.

David True elected V.P. General Manager, Austin Powder Co.

Austin formed and maintains an interest in Sociedade de Explosivos Civis in Lisbon, Portugal with Melo Group.

1999 - Purchased detonator manufacturer in Czech Republic (Zbrojovka Vestin - Indet A.S.). Martin Cernousek is named president.

2000 - Formed Austin Powder Guatemala S.A.

2001 - John Rathbun elected V.P, General Manager of Austin Powder International.

2002 - Formed Austin Powder Uruguay S.A.

2003 - Purchased Dynamit Nobel Wien GmbH, the oldest explosives manufacturer in Austria. Wolfgang Schuster is president.

Purchased East Trading Import Export SRL in Romania.

2004 - Formed Austin Powder Hungary KFT.

2005 - Purchased Schaffler & Co. GmbH in Vienna, Austria.

Linus Austin

Keg Shop


Powder Kegs

Newburgh Workers


Austin Cartridge Company, 1900

J.K. Kendrick

Delivery Truck, 1918

A.D. Alexander

Red Diamond

Glenwillow Keg House

J.G. Murray

Glenwillow Pulverizing

Bulk Truck

Austin Powder Mexico, Dinamita Durango, Mexico

Austin Powder Argentina, Rafaela, Argentina

Bicket (coming soon)

Sociedade de Explosivos Civis, Portugal

Mike Gleason

John Rathbun

Austin Powder GmbH, St Lambertecht, Austria