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Tiers-Frasch Collection

Identifier: 00-31

Scope and Content

The Tiers-Frasch Collection is a fragmentary collection of business records from the firm of Tiers & Company. A portion of these records relate to the firm’s dealings with Herman Frasch and his partner Franklin Rockefeller concerning the use of their process for extracting sulfur. The collection is arranged into the following two series:

  1. Correspondence and Letter Books
  2. Technical and Legal Documents


  • Creation: 1843-1919


Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions on the materials and the collection is open to the public.

Copyright Information

The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Tiers-Frasch Collection. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Background Note

Tiers & Company was an American firm owned by brothers Cornelius and Alexander H. Tiers. Tiers & Company was involved in a variety of business ventures, one of which involved Herman Frasch’s revolutionary process for extracting sulfur.

Herman Frasch (1851-1914) was a German-American chemical engineer. Frasch was born in 1851 and was educated in Germany. He came to the United States in 1868 and established a chemical laboratory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1887, Frasch patented a method of removing foul-smelling sulfur compounds from “sour” oil. In 1894, Frasch adapted the technology of the oil industry to sulfur mining and devised a means whereby the sulfur could be pumped out of the ground rather than mined. The process made American sulfur competitive with the more easily mined sulfur of Sicily. By securing an economical and reliable source for sulfuric acid, Herman Frasch helped the infant U. S. chemical industry to break free from European domination. Frasch was awarded a Perkins Medal in 1912 for his innovations. He died in Paris, France in 1914.


Tiers-Frasch Collection, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


1.0 Linear Feet (2 Boxes)

Language of Materials



The Tiers-Frasch Collection consists of the business records from the firm of Tiers & Company, especially as they pertain to Herman Frasch’s process for extracting sulfur.

Acquisition Information

The Tiers-Frasch Collection was purchased by the Science History Institute (formerly known as the Chemical Heritage Foundation) from B & L Rootenberg Rare Books and Manuscripts in 2000.

Related Materials

The Chemists’ Club Records, preserved at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contains additional materials related to Herman Frasch.

The Herman Frasch Biographical Materials are preserved at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Ebling Library in Madison, Wisconsin.

Processing Information

The Tiers-Frasch Collection was processed by Andrew Mangravite in January 2003. This finding aid was revised by Birch Mezzaroba in May 2022.

Tiers-Frasch Collection
Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Birch Mezzaroba.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
215.873.5265 (Fax)