In 1844 Erastus Beethoven Badger, a 16 year-old, began a coppersmithing apprenticeship at Rice & Jenkins, located a few blocks from today's Boston North Station. Before long, he became partner and then sole owner. His son Daniel eventually took over the business in 1900. This would pave the way for the deep-rooted New England tradition of "family-based business", where sons and grandsons would follow in the footsteps of family excellence — through their craft and ethical standing. This "family" pride is still a part of Badger today.

In 1909 a chemical engineering graduate of M.I.T. by the name of C.L. Campbell was hired for the summer to design equipment based on scientific principles. During this time, he designed and sold an acetic acid plant, which would require an extended commitment by the company in order to complete the detailed design, fabrication and operation of the plant. In 1912-1913 Badger emerged as a leader in the wood distillation industry, building the first complete fractionation unit to recover methyl alcohol, methyl acetate, acetone and acetic acid. Badger also pioneered early process development work to apply continuous distillation to commercial applications.

In the mid 1930's, Badger entered the petroleum market, partnering with the Houdry Organization to design the world's first successful catalytic cracking plant using the Houdry Process. Badger designed and built most of the Houdry fixed-bed units worldwide; and by 1943, 90 percent of the aviation gasoline supply for the U.S. was produced from "Houdry-base" stock. Badger also evolved as a designer of refineries and synthetic toluene.

A group of employees from the former Badger formed a separate company, Badger Manufacturing Co. which provided specialty metal products such as distillation trays and expansion joints, but more importantly became a leading process design company in the rapidly evolving chemical industry. As client organizations developed exciting new catalysts in the next two decades that would lead to significant technology advancements in the chemical industry, innovative Badger process engineers provided services leading to new processes for manufacture of important chemicals such as acrylonitrile, vinyl chloride monomer and ethylbenzene / styrene monomer.

In 1955 Badger designed a c8 aromatic fractionation unit to provide ethylbenzene to Cosden Oil and Chemical Company (a legacy company of TOTAL Group) and in the early 1960's began working with Union Carbide to incorporate their improvements. In 1965 the three companies entered into an agreement for Badger to license styrene technology to third parties. Badger also entered into an agreement with Union Carbide to license their advanced aluminum chloride-catalyzed EB technology. In 1972 Mobil and Badger entered into a cooperation agreement to develop and license process technology utilizing Mobil's proprietary ZSM-5 zeolite catalysts, commercialized in the world's largest EB unit in Pasadena, TX in 1980.

Badger cooperated again with Mobil in the early 1990s to offer the world's first zeolite-catalyzed cumene technology.

From the middle of the twentieth century onward, Badger also had a significant international business as it served clients in western Europe and Japan. This culture of process innovation and international focus evolved into the company that Badger Licensing is today. The company’s expanded technology portfolio now includes bisphenol-A in phenolics, isopropanol, and new bolt-on technologies in styrenics.

As with most firms, the company went through several name and ownership changes, ultimately becoming wholly owned by TechnipFMC. Throughout these transitions the core group of process engineers maintained its offices in Cambridge, MA, and moved to downtown Boston, MA in 2013. Meanwhile the Weymouth, MA laboratories have continued to provide R&D support for the past 40 years.

In 2003, Badger Licensing, LLC was formed as a 50/50 joint venture between affiliates of ExxonMobil Chemical Company and the Shaw Group, Inc.

In August 2012, TechnipFMC acquired the interest of Shaw E&C, making Badger a 50:50 JV between affiliates of TechnipFMC and ExxonMobil.

In 2018, TechnipFMC acquired the interest of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, making Badger 100% wholly owned by TechnipFMC.

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