Borax Timeline

19 - 20 million years ago:  Boron deposit formed

10th century AD: First confirmed use of borax in ceramic glazes in China

8th century AD: Regular imports of tincal (from the Sanskrit word for borax) from Far East begin along trade routes taken by Marco Polo 

8th century AD: First verifiable use of borax by Arabian gold and silversmiths

1702: First boric acid produced

1790: Borates discovered in South American Andes

1808: Element boron isolated

1872: Company founder F.M. "Borax" Smith discovered borates in Nevada

1881: Borates discovered in Death Valley

1883: Twenty mule teams established to haul borates

1902: Borax Français established

1905: Borax Benelux acquired

1922: Borax Espana refinery constructed in Barcelona

1923: Wilmington refinery built

1925: Boron deposit discovered

1963: Borax NV (Rotterdam) built; Deutsche Borax formed

1967: Borax acquired by Rio Tinto, one of the world's leading mining companies

1988: Boraxo/Borateem/20-Mule Team product lines sold to Dial Corporation

1992: Borax Italia established; Borax Espana relocated to Nules

1993: Global headquarters moved to Valencia, California

1994: European headquarters moved to Guildford, England

1996: Global operations achieved ISO 9002 certification for excellence in Quality Management

1997: Company celebrated 125th anniversary; Borax Visitor Center opened in Boron, California

1998: New sales offices established in China

1999: Twenty Mule Team's last ride in Pasadena Rose Parade, world's largest parade

2000: Global operations achieved ISO 14000 certification for excellence in environmental management

2001: Company formed partnership with Millennium Cell to develop safe, clean fuel alternative based on sodium borohydride

2002: Chrysler Natrium, world's first sodium borohydride-powered, zero emission vehicle made pit stop at U.S. Borax's Boron Operations

2003: Global operations achieved ISO 9001 certification for excellence in Quality Management

2003: Borax Argentina's boric acid plant began production

2004: Discovery of lithium-borate deposit in Serbia

2007: Global headquarters moved to Denver, Colorado

2009: Changshu, China distribution center opened

2010: European headquarters moved to Paddington in London

2012: Scheduled opening of Asia Technology Center