Thursday, September 15, 2016

Friedrich Bayer: the founder of Bayer AG

Friedrich Bayer (1825-1880) traded natural dyes at least since 1850. Bayer came from a family of silk weavers in Barmen, about twenty-five miles from Cologne. He was born in 1825 near Cologne, he was the only boy among six children and it was fairly obvious that whatever he did in life would have some connection with textiles.

His first job was a chemical merchant’s apprentice, but by the time he was twenty-three he had began his own business trading in natural dyes. Bayer was successful, setting himself up in business and trading dyes across Europe.

On August I, 1863, Friedrich Bayer and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott establish a modest dyestuff factory in Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany. The firm was renamed Friedrich Bayer & Co to reflect the new partnership.

Bayer became the general manager while Weskott assumed the role of the technical director. Weskott knew everything about dyeing: he was already running a successful dyeing business evolving twelve men.

Their expertise lay in natural dyes, but the company they founded was set up to exploit the vast potential of the exciting synthetic aniline dyes that were beginning to appear.

The partners managed to produce their own version of fuchsine dye in small premises attached to Bayer’s house but lost much of their initial profit in compensation payments when irate neighbors complained about waste chemicals polluting the local drinking water.

Friedrich Bayer, as a trader, of natural dyes, had sales connections in many German cities as well as in Brussels, Amsterdam, Bradford (England), New York, and St. Petersburg.

Bayer has its headquarters in Leverkusen, North Rhino-Westphalia, Germany. Bayer was one of the important German chemical companies of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1880, died, followed a year later by Weskott and the reins were picked up by Carl Rumpff, Bayer’s son-in-law.
Friedrich Bayer: the founder of Bayer AG

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