Brainerd Chemical’s history is family history

  • 1959


    Harold “Hal” W. Brainerd, Jr. founded Brainerd Chemical Company.

  • Early Years

    A patent issued in 1956 to Hal Brainerd

    In the early years, the building block of the company was Hal Brainerd and his technical knowledge.

  • 1960


    Purchased Ward Chemical and added reagent and laboratory products.

  • 1960s

    An ad from the 60's, featuring one of Hal Brainerd's products, nu-brite laundry detergent

    The company sold compounded laundry detergents, developed by Hal Brainerd, to the institutional trade.

  • 1963

    1963 Advertising for Brainerd Chemical

    Hal moved operations between rented warehouses in the Tulsa industrial area.

  • 1966

    1966 Groundbreaking on new building

    Hal built his own building at 42nd & Sheridan, which included a retail storefront, office space, and a warehouse.

  • 1969


    Brainerd supplied refrigerant to North American Rockwell for the Apollo 11 spacecraft.

  • 1979


    As Hal neared retirement age he turned to his youngest son, 20-year-old Mat, to lead the company.

  • Late 80s & Early 90s

    Late 80s & Early 90s

    As with many companies, Brainerd had its ups and downs.  Mat’s drive for growth and diversification pushed the company forward.  Brainerd added products such as fluorinated hydrocarbons and served as a wholesale pharmacy to 500 pharmacies nationwide.

  • 1985


    Hal and his wife, Scotty, officially retired and moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

  • 2002


    Brainerd purchased the original Waite Phillips Oil company location on North Peoria in Tulsa. A $1 million renovation began while maintaining several of the original brick buildings.  The company expanded its product lines by shipping bulk corrosives and flammables.

  • 2004


    Mat traveled to Washington, D.C. to visit with legislators on behalf of the chemical industry.  A supporter of the industry, Brainerd Chemical has been a member of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) since 2005 and supports their vision of Responsible Distribution, advocating for sound government policies and promoting continuous…

  • 2005


    To better meet the needs of a significant customer, an east coast operation was necessary.  Brainerd opens Dunn, North Carolina facility.

  • 2009


    With a continued focus on growth and a desire to expand the company’s footprint, Brainerd Tuttle, Oklahoma facility opened.  This facility allowed further reach into Oklahoma’s oil and gas markets.

  • 2010


    Brainerd attained its first FCN for Peracetic Acid and was Brainerd’s next step into the Food Safety Chemical space.

  • 2010s


    After serving in various roles within the NACD, Mat served as Chairman and embraced his role as an educator—advocating for issues and policies to improve the chemical industry.

  • 2013


    Brainerd Transportation was formed allowing for city and route deliveries from box trucks to bulk tankers.

  • 2013


    Brainerd’s corporate office moved to the historic Philtower in downtown Tulsa.  With three plant locations and a growing company, more space was required to hold the staff needed to provide the necessary support of operations.  The Philtower was built by Waite Phillips in the early 1920s.

  • 2015

    Image: Brainerd Chemical Company Logo

    Current version of the Brainerd logo was designed.

  • 2016


    Mat was recognized as NACD Distributor of the Year.

  • 2016


    Brainerd acquired its Danville, Illinois facility.

  • 2019


    Brainerd celebrated its 60th anniversary.

  • Today


    Brainerd continues to promote the field of chemistry through the tireless efforts of its employees, haloed by chemical stewardship and core values.