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110 Years ago - 1909

First worldwide business

On September 1, 1909, just two years after Röhm & Haas, a predecessor company of Evonik Industries, was founded, a branch was opened in Philadelphia, USA.

By 1913 further branch offices had been established from Darmstadt, such as the one in the English city of Hull, while branches in Chicago, Boston, and Buenos Aires had been established from Philadelphia. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, the German portion of the branch in Philadelphia was seized. This was followed by the transformation into the independent American Rohm & Haas Company, but thanks to the friendship between Otto Röhm and Otto Haas the ties between the two companies were maintained for a long time.

After business trips Otto Haas took in 1908 had revealed that France was a promising market for OROPON, Röhm & Haas decided to set up its own branch in Lyon. Opened on August 24, 1909, it was managed by Alfred Röhm, Dr. Otto Röhm’s younger brother. Just one year later, the Spanish and Portuguese leather markets were being developed from Lyon. To this end, branches were set up in Genoa and Barcelona that were managed from Lyon.

Chemische Fabrik Th. Goldschmidt also stepped up its French operations considerably in 1909. On the one hand, it came to a friendly agreement with the important Lyon-based silk weaving mill Gillet & Fils, which would go on to meet the chemical company’s tin chloride requirements exclusively in Essen. Even more important, however, was the establishment of a subsidiary of its own, the Société Française des Etablissements Th. Goldschmidt in Paris, with capital of 500,000 francs, which commenced operations on January 1, 1910. From Paris, it soon dominated the entire French, Spanish, and Portuguese markets for tinplate waste, which was supplied to the detinning plant in Essen.