423 Atlantic Avenue, 435-443 Atlantic Avenue

c. 1880

Ex-Lax, short for “Excellent Laxative,” was invented in 1906 by Hungarian-born pharmacist Max Kiss in New York City, and opened its first factory that same year. By 1932, a larger headquarters was established on Atlantic Avenue that incorporated existing structures (435-443 Atlantic Avenue) and a new building (423 Atlantic Avenue). The existing structures had been home beginning in the 1880s to the Herman Themig Bottling plant, a wholesale and retail beer merchant for the Anheuser-Busch company. After Themig’s death in 1892, the plant resumed operation under the August Busch Company until 1903. Budweiser, introduced in 1876, was bottled here. After Ex-Lax was sold to a pharmaceutical company in 1981, the building was converted to residential use, making it one of Brooklyn’s earliest factory conversions.