The Ault and Wiborg Company had a factory located at 417 East 7th Street in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio that was built in 1930 for the Queen City Printing Company, a manufacturer of printing inks and dry color dyes and pigments that innovated the industry with coal-tar dyes. It was demolished in 2009.


It is surmised that the Queen City Printing Company was a later name for the Ault and Wiborg Company, a manufacturer of printing inks and dry color dyes and pigments that was established in 1878.2 Founded in part by the Ontario-born Levi Addison Ault, he left home in his late teens to work for a railroad and as as bookkeeper in Wisconsin. He followed his brother to Cincinnati in 1876, working with a dealer “in lampblack, pitch and rosins.” Ault eventually became their top salesman, giving him the inspiration to begin an ink manufacturing business.

Frank Bestow Wiborg, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, left the city for Cincinnati where he was admitted to the Chickering Institute, a select college preparatory academy.2 He graduated in 1874 and eventually worked as a salesman for Ault.

Ault, seeking an investor for his ink manufacturing business, sought Wiborg who was willing to put forth $10,000 in capital to jumpstart operations.2 The Ault and Wiborg Company, a manufacturer of inks and lithograph supplies, was founded in July 1878. The company used coal-tar dyes to produce brightly colored inks, which revolutionized the printing industry. Ault and Wiborg became immensely successful and the company eventually expanded its operations worldwide under the Latin motto of “Hic et Ubique,” which translates to “Here and Everywhere.”


Ault and Wiborg’s first location was at a small building on New Street. In the early 1900’s, a larger ink plant was constructed in St. Bernard near the current-day Proctor & Gamble factory.2 A varnish department was formed in 1905 in a newly built factory in Norwood which supplied coatings, lacquers, varnishes and finishes for metal products. Wiborg left the company in 1906 to pursue personal interests.

During World War I, Ault and Wiborg sought to duplicate the manufacture of imported German dyes and intermediates as the war brought a disruption of trade between the two nations.2 The dye manufacturing plant was significantly expanded upon and soon overshadowed the varnish operations.

In 1920, the Ault and Wiborg dye factories in St. Bernard and Norwood were sold to Ciba, Geigy and Sandoz, a Swiss coglomerate.2 The ink and varnish departments were not affected. The new dye company became known as the Cincinnati Chemical Works. Ault remained a director with Cincinnati Chemical Works until just before its 50th anniversary in 1928, when he sold his interest to the Swiss.

The Ault and Wiborg ink department was moved to 417 East 7th Street in 1930. On December 30, 1948,Ault also sold his ink business for $14 million to the International Printing Ink Corporation, which later became the Interchemical Corporation.2


On October 13, 1969, the East 7th Street property was transferred to the Clopay Corporation. Clopay was established in Cincinnati in 1859 as the Seinsheimer Paper Company, which sold paper products and other sundries in the region. The acronym “Clopay” was later used in the early 20th century, formed by the contraction of the words cloth and paper.3 In 1964, Clopay entered the garage door business with the purchase of Baker-Aldor-Jones of Hialeah, Florida, which today it is the largest manufacturer of garage doors in North America.

The property did not stay with Clopay for long, as the building was transferred to Frye Copysystems on December 18, 1973.1 It was then transferred to Henry Tollman III and Raymond B. Fine on December 30, 1983 and listed as an Ohio Superfund Site (#OHD072874282) on August 11, 1997.4 The last transfer occurred on February 14, 2007 when the 417 E. 7th Street, LLC was formed, of which Tollman and Fine were members.1 The structure contained one parking level, while the remainder was listed as storage.1

Demolition on the property began in October 2009 and the ground remediated for a Proctor & Gamble daycare for their adjoining headquarter complex.

Sources