The company launched in 1848 and was named after the owners’ family name of Morton. It was Joy Morton and her son Sterling, who started the company. Isn’t it amazing that a woman that far back had her own company? Because of their distribution network, Morton is still the leading brand of salt. They created the Morton Salt Girl in 1914 with a famous ad slogan of: “When it rains it pours,” which is still in the Top 10 of all-time advertising slogans.
Morton has/had several operating divisions including aerospace (rocket propulsion). They have a large chemical research division as well. Speaking of aerospace, Morton was part of the investigation into what happened in the Challenger explosion. The Challenger was doomed by a failed rubber seal, called an O-Ring on the booster. They hadn’t anticipated the temperature variance (colder than planned), that day and one of the seals didn’t flex into position which left a gap for the fuel to get through. One of Morton’s employees tried with all his might to get them to scrap the launch because he was afraid of what would happen with their boosters in cold weather, but he didn’t receive support – how tragic!
The family was pretty much out of the operation when a Germany company purchased Morton for $1.7 billion dollars in 2009. Not bad for a company that started with around $10,000 ($300,000 in today’s dollars).