Market Overview

The Original Dow Jones Industrial Average: Where Are They Now?

The Original Dow Jones Industrial Average: Where Are They Now?

Dow Industrials have come and gone over the years, and on Tuesday, the index — unsurprisingly — shed its longest-standing, most constant constituent.

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), the last of the Dow’s original 12 from 1896, will be supplanted next week by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA).

At that time, GE will join fellow inaugural members as a Dow retiree, but shareholders hope it finds a more favorable fate. Here's what became of the other early Dow components:

American Cotton Oil

After a succession of mergers, American Cotton Oil became part of Best Foods, which now runs under Unilever NV (ADR) ADR (NYSE: UN).

American Sugar

The entity became Amstar Corp. and then Domino Foods, whose latest parent brings the assets again under the name American Sugar Refining.

American Tobacco

In 1907, antitrust regulators began to break the company into American Tobacco Company, R.J. Reynolds, Liggett & Myers and Lorillard. The American Tobacco Company lives on through its most recent parent, British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSE: BTI).

Chicago Gas

The entity was first acquired by Peoples Gas, which merged with WPS Resources Corp. into Integrys Energy Group, Inc., which was later acquired by WEC Energy Group Inc (NYSE: WEC).

Distilling & Cattle Feeding Company

Over the years, the firm expanded its scope from liquor to chemicals and metals. Its former focus lives on in Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE: DEO) and Fortune Brands, while the industrial business survives in LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB)'s Millennium Chemicals.

Laclede Gas Company

Laclede Gas still exists as a wholly owned subsidiary of Spire Inc (NYSE: SR).

National Lead Company

After changing its name and reorganizing operations in the 1970s, NL Industries Inc (NYSE: NL) continues to exist as a lead smelting company majority-owned by Valhi, Inc. (NYSE: VHI).

North American

Like Chicago Gas, North American also endures in WEC Energy. The original entity was dissolved by a U.S. court in 1938, and its Wisconsin Electric successor was later restructured into WEC.

Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company

United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) acquired the Tennessee Company in 1907.

United States Leather Company

Mergers and subsequent liquidations led to the complete dissolution of U.S. Leather. Not a vestige remains.

United States Rubber

After a series of mergers forming Uniroyal and then the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company, the assets now lie with Michelin.

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A NL Industries stock certificate circa 1975. Photo by Downingsf/Wikimedia. 


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