EX-LAX, Atlantic Avenue

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When I was a kid my parents and I would go on lengthy trips of exploration on local buses, and one of the routes was the B-63 which ran down 5th and Atlantic Avenues to the waterfront. On the return trip I remember being amused by the factory building near Nevins that was emblazoned “Ex Lax” over its front entrance, since even as a kid I knew that was the name of the “chocolate laxative” which was then advertised heavily on TV.

It was indeed an Ex-Lax factory, but it closed sometime in the 1960s. It was an early residential conversion in 1979, when I was still attending St. Francis College a couple of blocks away. A few years ago I went on an Open House New York tour through one of the ultramodern residences that have been carved out of the old poop loosening factory, which once kept a “staff” of monkeys on hand for product testing. The monkeys’ old quarters, in which they were kept in cages, has been incorporated into one of the apartments.

4/12/14





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7 Responses to EX-LAX, Atlantic Avenue

  1. joe bernstein says:

    The color scheme of the factory was two tones of brown,a very apropos one,I’d say :)

  2. bruce says:

    They must have painted the building. When I lived in the area back in the early ’70s, I recall that it was BM brown.

  3. Dave says:

    Many years ago I worked as a central station for the burglar alarm company that protectec Ex-Lax. They had a laboratory on site where they tested the product on monkeys. Every once in a while a monkey would get ou of its cage and let the other monkeys out. As they ran around the building the tripped the alarm system causing us to dispatch the police and an armed guard with keys. On one particular night a new guard responded to the alarm, flashlight and gun in hand. As he searched the premises two of the monkeys jumped on him. Need less to say, the guard did not need Ex Lax that night. He did it au natural!!!!

  4. James Auran, MD says:

    EarlWhen made in this building, Ex Lax contained phenylphthaleine, which unfortunately was suspected of being carcinogenic and was eventually banned.

  5. James Auran, MD says:

    When made in this building, Ex Lax contained phenylphthaleine, which unfortunately was suspected of being carcinogenic and was eventually banned.

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