Wessel, Duval & Co. opened its doors in 1825 with Augustus Hemenway's efforts to develop new markets for an expanding US industrial base.

Cutting edge communication and transportation technology were required to lead the way to new markets. Wessel, Duval & Co.'s early history is inextricably tied to clipper ships that set records moving cargo and information around Cape Horn. Our fleet of ships included: City of Santiago, City of Valparaiso, Prospero, Sunbeam, Magellan and below in Boston Harbor, 1868, Independence. 

The 1900s ushered in the age of steam ships, and Wessel, Duval & Co.'s West Coast Line provided regular sailings between New York, Valparaiso and Callao. The West Coast Line house flag continued to honor company founder A. Hemenway with the H logo on a red background.

Completion of the Antofagasta Railway provided direct and speedy access to nitrate deposits making Wessel, Duval & Co. account for more than 50% of US nitrate imports in the early 1900s

During WWII Wessel, Duval & Co. proudly served the US war effort at the helm of 15 liberty ships. Our best known ship, the SS John Philip Sousa, launched July 4, 1943. The ship's bell resides today at the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Marine Barracks, Washington D.C. 

In the 1990s Wessel Duval & Co. plays a part in some of the most memorable media advertising of the age, winning awards for ads such as Budweiser's Super Bowl spot of its Clydesdale horses playing a game of American Football, and Wells Fargo Corporate image campaigns.

In the new millennium Wessel, Duval & Co. embraces challenges that face the Southern Cone region. To feed and provide energy for its countries growing families by bridging the gap between sellers and buyers in international markets. We continue to produce epic media content for brand image advertising. Our commitment to innovation and leadership is unwavering.

August Hemenway

Pedro M. Wessel

George L. Duval

Guillermo V. Purcell

Luis W. Purcell

Past Leaders

Established in 1825, and headed into the 21 Century