Q&A on the News

Q: I was wondering what were the original Dow Jones Industrial stocks when the index began?

—Lance DeLoach, Thomaston

A: There were 12 companies on the Dow Jones Industrial Average when it was launched in 1896:

  • American Cotton Oil Company: It was off the Dow by 1901 and had several name changes. It was bought by Unilever in 2000.
  • American Sugar Company: The company was off the Dow by 1930 and is now known as Domino Foods.
  • American Tobacco Company: Antitrust lawsuits broke it up, but it existed until it was bought by American Brands in 1985. It's known as Fortune Brands.
  • Chicago Gas Company: It lasted two years on the Dow and is now called Integrys Energy Group.
  • Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company: It became National Distillers, which was on the Dow from 1934-59, and is now parts of other companies.
  • General Electric: It's one of the country's largest companies and the only member of the Dow's Century Club.
  • Laclede Gas Company: It was off the Dow in two years, but exists as a natural gas producer called the Laclede Group.
  • National Lead Company: Now called NL Industries, it was off the Dow by 1916.
  • North American Company: It had two stints on the Dow, but ceased to exist in 1946.
  • Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company: It was bought by U.S. Steel in the early 20th century.
  • U.S. Leather Company: A trust, it dissolved in 1911, but still operated until 1952. It no longer exists.
  • U.S. Rubber Company: It was gone from the Dow by 1930, became Uniroyal in 1961, merged with B.F. Goodrich and was bought by Michelin in 1990.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).