The Embalmers’ Supply Company was born April 13, 1886, as a partnership between C.B. Dolge, a German-born inventor, a businessman, artist and engraver, and Max Huncke, also German-born, and a practicing pharmacist. It operated both as the The Brooklyn Embalming Fluid Company and as Dolge & Huncke in Brooklyn, New York, until 1890, at which time it moved to Westport, Connecticut. In 1893, the partnership was dissolved, the interest of Mr. Huncke being purchased by Mr. Dolge, and the firm was incorporated under the present name.
In the early days, we manufactured not only embalming fluids containing arsenic (there was no formaldehyde available then), but also a limited line of instruments and accessories such as pumps, goosenecks, etc., in short, the mechanical contrivances without which embalming cannot be practiced. This was necessary since there was no other source of supply for such items, and without them, fluid could not be sold. As the years have passed, we have, bit by bit, withdrawn from metal manufacture and have broadened and enlarged our chemical business. Today, we are strictly a chemical firm.
In 1889, Mr Dolge founded the first permanent school of embalming to popularize the method and his products, and this was known as the United States College of Embalming. Dr. Auguste Renouard was the demonstrator, and later purchased the school which was then run as the Renouard Training School for Embalmers until 1954, when its was absorbed by the American Academy, McAllister Institute.
Thus, within three years of its founding, the Company was already responsible for two major “firsts.” An equipment factory and a permanent school, one of which operates to this day. This early record of initiating lasting improvements in the industry has guided us throughout the years and is perhaps the most distinguishing mark of ESCO.