Polymer Corporation

Polymer Corporation, a federal CROWN CORPORATION established in 1942 to produce artificial rubber to substitute for overseas supply cut off by WWII.

Howe, C.D.
The minister of Trade and Commerce speaking at the official opening of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation loading facilities at Picton, Ontario, 1955 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-472).

Polymer Corporation

Polymer Corporation, a federal CROWN CORPORATION established in 1942 to produce artificial rubber to substitute for overseas supply cut off by WWII. A factory was established at Sarnia, Ont, where, using German patents from an American licensee, Polymer produced 5000 tons of artificial rubber from oil every month. The product was used in everything from tires to airplane parts and much of it was sold to the US as part of the common war effort.

The company was considered a roaring success, more efficient than its American counterparts and a national asset. C.D. HOWE, under whose Dept of Munitions and Supply the company fell, decided to keep Polymer going as a Crown corporation after the war. It was a highly profitable enterprise, and he was not convinced that any buyer would pay a proper price or keep it going. Polymer therefore survived the war, reporting through Howe and his successors to Parliament until 1971 when it was sold to the CANADA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. The company was also involved in the petrochemicals industry, primarily in the production of polyurethane. It was renamed Polysar in 1976 and the rubber component became a subsidiary, Polysar Rubber Corp. When NOVA Corp purchased Polysar in 1990, they sold Polysar Rubber to Bayer AG of Germany.