The history of Avantor | Avantor


The company now known as Avantor® was founded in 1904 by John Townsend (J.T.) Baker.

John Townsend Baker

John Townsend Baker was studying chemistry at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, when he realized that the laboratory chemicals he was using in class were not pure enough to yield accurate results. Taking matters into his own hands, he founded the J.T.Baker Chemical Company in 1904 to produce chemicals of the "highest degree of purity commercially available." His company would later become Avantor, and help set the global standard for quality and purity in product manufacturing. 

Almost 50 years earlier, John Taylor made the journey from New York to California in search of gold. After being unsuccessful in his venture, John discovered another way to be successful by selling products to serve the mining and laboratory markets. In 1852, he began the John Taylor Company, which would later expand to become VWR, the leading global provider of product and service solutions to laboratory and production customers in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, industrial, education, government and healthcare industries, and our largest acquisition to date.

Global Evolution

When it was founded in 1904, the J.T.Baker Chemical Company had 20 employees in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Today, Avantor employs more than 14,500 associates and has operations in over 30 countries. We are a trusted partner, from discovery to delivery, to customers and suppliers in the biopharma, healthcare, education, government, and advanced technologies & applied materials industries.

While the company has grown its manufacturing and distribution capabilities, product portfolio, and global reach through several strategic acquisitions, our goal of providing high-quality materials and service to our customers around the world has not changed.