Europe is the cradle of the modem international chemical industry. From the middle of the nineteenth century until the outbreak of World War I, the European chemical industry influenced not only the production and control of science and technology, but also made significant contributions towards economic development, as well as bringing about profound changes in working and living enviromnents. It is a highly complex heritage, both rich and threatening, that calls for close scrutinity. Fortunately, a unique opportunity to explore the historical development of the European chemical industry from a variety of novel standpoints, was made possible during 1993 as part of the European Science Foundation (ESF) programme called 'The Evolution of Chemistry in Europe, 1789-1939.' This process of exploration has taken place through three workshops, each dealing with different time periods. The workshop concerned with the period 1850-1914, which corresponds roughly to the so-called Second Industrial Revolution, was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, on 23-25 March 1995. This volume is the outcome of that workshop. The other workshops dealing with European chemical industry were held in Liege in 1994, covering the First Industrial Revolution period, 1789-1850, and Strasbourg in 1996, covering the period between the two World Wars.