125 years LuV

125 years of Lehmann&Voss&Co., that's 125 years of innovation - with failures and successes, with setbacks and progress. And 125 years of Lehmann&Voss&Co. are not least the people who shaped the company. All this makes us proud and is an occasion to remember. Let's explore together the most important stages of this success story since 1894.

125 Years of Lehmann&Voss&Co.

On 8th August of this year Lehmann&Voss&Co. celebrates its 125th anniversary in Hamburg.

Since 1894 our passion for chemical and mineral specialities has been driving us to constantly strive for new top achievements. Our enthusiasm for innovations and new technologies has ensured during the past 125 years that we have continuously developed highly customized products and solutions in a close cooperation with our customers and partners.

Because we love what we do. We LuV it. Since 1894.

On the occasion of this anniversary the company celebrated with its employees at the Hamburg Fischauktionshalle on 16th August. The First Mayor of the City of Hamburg, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, opened the festive evening in front of 600 guests. A special eyecatcher in the entrance area was the model of a 3D printed racing sailboat made of a customised material by Lehmann&Voss&Co.

Download link for press release: LuV_Press_Info_125_Years_Lehmann_Voss_Co.pdf

 

2013 - Number of the Month November

In the year 2013 Lehmann&Voss&Co. returned to the USA. The LEHVOSS North America was founded in Pawcatuck, Connecticut to concentrate above all on selling tailor-made, high-performance compounds with the trademark LUVOCOM. In September 2014 Lehmann&Voss&Co. then took over a majority share of the Performance Compounding for the production of LUVOCOM and toll compounding. So the Hamburg-based company was continuing to expand its position in the important US market. It continues to trade under the name introduced in the USA, Performance Compounding.

2007 - Number of the Month October

At the beginning of the year 2007 Dr. Erk Thomsen withdrew completely from management; his seven years older brother Dirk (see photo) had already done so in 1998. It was the end of an era, because between them the two brothers and grandsons of the founder had led the company for nearly four decades. Conversations with older employees indicate that the departure of Dr. Erk Thomsen marked a turning point, with the last “father figure” vacating the “captain’s deck”.

1990 - Number of the Month September

As with many other German Mittelstand companies the internationalization of business has been accelerated by European integration. Since 1990 Lehmann&Voss&Co. had been following its clients with their international engagements. The beginning was made in the three big West European economies, France, Italy and Great Britain where Lehmann&Voss&Co. established sales subsidiaries under the name LEHVOSS 1990. The company is driving ahead with internationalisation “single-mindedly, but cautiously,“ and Lehmann&Voss&Co. also takes temporary setbacks in its stride.

1983 - Number of the Month August

Dr. Erk Thomsen saw chances of growth in the production of fibre-reinforced plastics to reduce the company‘s dependence on distribution, trade and masterbatch production. In 1978 negotiations about co-operation had already begun with the US firm Wilson Fiberfil. In 1983 Lehmann&Voss&Co. was given the know-how for hundreds of formulas for manufacturing high-performance polymer materials for precision injection moulding. These products were sold under the trade mark LUVOCOM registered on 20 July 1983.

1969 - Number of the Month July

Lehmann&Voss&Co. celebrated their 75th anniversary in 1969. Not only had the company survived two world wars, a hyperinflation and a global depression, but it was also doing better business than ever before. Shortly after that, however, joy turned to grief when Willy Thomsen fell victim to a traffic accident. The son-in-law of founder Helmuth Voss had been head of the company since his death in 1956, the "primus inter pares" within the management. Lehmann&Voss&Co. suddenly faced a generational change.

1954 - Number of the Month June

In 1954, Lehmann&Voss&Co. became the German distributor of Johns Manville’s filter aid product Celite (diatomite, kieselgur). With this move, the company pioneered precoat filtration in the German beverage industry. As market leader in this field, Lehmann&Voss&Co. also supplied aids for the filtration of liquids to other industries. In addition, Lehmann&Voss&Co. was instrumental in introducing silica-based stabilizers to the brewing industry.

1936 - Number of the Month May

Johannes Behre, the new head of the research laboratory, succeeded in 1936 in producing a high-quality inactive carbon black from (domestic) coal instead of (imported) crude oil. Its reinforcing characteristics made LUV 36 indispensable for the rubber industry. The new carbon black played a crucial role for the future of the company.

1929 - Number of the Month April

On the eve of the great depression of 1929 Lehmann&Voss&Co. already played in the first league of the German chemical industry. An article in the magazine “Gummi-Zeitung“ declared: The rubber industry in Germany has become, in a way, dependent on two chemical companies, namely “on the importer of foreign rubber additives, Lehmann&Voss&Co. of Hamburg, and on I.G. Farben of Leverkusen”, i.e. Bayer, “by which the rubber industry is served with ready-made processes for their products”.

1907 - Number of the Month March

Already in 1907 Lehmann&Voss&Co. established a research laboratory, which was mainly concerned with rubber, a novelty for trading companies at that time. Helmuth Voss realized earlier than others that his customers not only want to be supplied, but also want to be advised – and in the scientific age this is only possible on the basis of an application laboratory. It was and still is a prerequisite for development partnerships with customers.

1894 - Number of the Month February

As the only 22-year-old Helmuth Voss founded Lehmann&Voss&Co. on August 8, 1894 in Hamburg, he put his entire savings of 750 marks in the company. Another 750 marks came from his father. At that time, 1,500 marks corresponded to the annual salary of a worker in the printing industry. His partner Alfred Lehmann had no financial resources. The young enterprise closed the first short fiscal year with a small profit of 428 Marks and a profit of 1,652 Marks was then already realized in 1895. Although the business went up, the two founders separated in late May 1896. According to Helmuth Voss, the reason was that the "company could not feed two owners". In fact, the early years of Lehmann&Voss&Co. were not easy, which is not uncommon in start ups, in 1897 the firm even made a loss. Only at the end of the 19th century, the breakthrough came. The name of the company did not change despite the departure of Alfred Lehmann.