They are a great example of the conglomerate era, where disparate businesses were assembled for no particular reason other than the whims of the President. Actually, it might be good to capitalize the time period, and call it the Conglomerate Era. I wonder now, looking back on it, of the underlying causes of the trend of consolidation. Certainly conglomerates were a business fashion.
They were originally the Warner Bros. theaters that were made to spin off. They owned a whole group of companies, a quite motley assortment. Wikipedia says that Stanley Warner merged with fellow theater company Glen Alden in 1968, which merged with Rapid-American in 1972. Rapid-American sold the company, renamed as International Playtex, Inc. to Esmark in 1975.
The companies were:
- Playtex, was first International Latex.
- Stanley Warner Theatres
- Physicians Products
- Southern Latex
- Morning Star-Paisley, a chemical company that owned a massive chemical plant in Paterson, N.J. that had a tragic fire in 1967
- WAST television