- By Alden B. Dow FAIA, 1934
1934 – The Ethyl-Dow House Prototypes, Dow Road and Fourth Avenue, overlooking the Cape Fear River at Kure Beach NC. The photo above is the Manager’s house. Plant Manager Brick Dressel lived there until December 1935. Monroe and Mary Shigley moved in during February 1936. Unclear if other houses were built. Current status of the house is unknown.
The massive factory for which these houses were designed operated from 1934 to 1946 under a partnership of the Dow Chemical Company and the Ethyl Corporation to extract bromine from ocean water. Although bromine had a number of industrial uses at the time, including photography, its primary use was in the synthesizing of “Ethyl” a “no-knock” compound used in gasoline and aviation fuel. At its height, the plant employed 250 workers. Plans were announced on Aug. 9, 1933, hailed as the area’s largest commercial development since the shipyard constructions in Wilmington of World War I.