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Progress since 1894.

When Otto Zschimmer and Max Schwarz founded a chemical wholesaler in 1894 and began producing their own chemical products in 1909, the world was a completely different place. After all, who at the time could have foreseen the events that would shape the 20th century? The history of Zschimmer & Schwarz is therefore also a history of Germany, and a history of constant change.

1894 - 1933
1939 - 1960
1970 - 1978
1980 - 1990
1995 - 1998
2000 - 2010
2012 - today
  • 1894
    1 January: Otto Zschimmer and Max Schwarz found the general partnership Zschimmer & Schwarz and start selling drugs, paint products and chemicals
  • 1909
    Start of operations of the Company’s first production facility in a factory in Greiz-Doelau, Thuringia; the chemical plant, Z&S Chemische Fabrik Doelau, employs around 500 staff and until 1945 is the Company’s biggest production facility
  • 1925
    Start of development activities and registration of the first patent: “Process for presenting a substitute for balsam of Peru”
  • 1933
    Company founder Otto Zschimmer dies at the age of 70 in Chemnitz
  • 1939
    Acquisition of Flesch-Werke AG in Oberlahnstein on the Rhine, from 1959 location of the Company’s head office and the biggest production facility of Z&S
  • 1945–48
    Sequestration and expropriation of all Z&S operations in Saxony and Thuringia; the partners and their families flee to West Germany
  • 1960
    Company founder Max Schwarz dies at the age of 91 in Lahnstein. The first foreign subsidiary, Z&S France with head office in Paris, starts the sale of paper auxiliaries. Launch of the Ceramic Auxiliaries Division in Lahnstein
  • 1970
    Foundation of Ursa-Chemie GmbH, today contract manufacturer for the chemical and cosmetics industry and manufacturer of products for the electroplating industry
  • 1972
    Foundation of Z&S Italiana and start of production and sale of surfactants, initially in Southern Europe
  • 1978
    Foundation of the Group’s first company in South America: Z&S Argentina; from 2008 development of own production for leather, textile, fibre and ceramic auxiliaries
  • 1980
    Opening ceremony of the fully biological waste water treatment plant at the location in Lahnstein: the Company’s biggest single investment at the time at DM 4 million
  • 1985
    Foundation of Zeta Esse Ti in Italy, initially only for the production and sale of textile auxiliaries; leather and fibre auxiliaries are added at a later date
  • 1990
    Entry in the Italian ceramics market with the acquisition of Ceramco; at the same time acquisition of the Spanish subsidiary Ceramco España, initially as a trading company for ceramic auxiliaries, later renamed to Z&S España; from 2002 development of own production
  • 1995
    Move of the Textiles Auxiliaries Division from Lahnstein to Saxony, where Z&S Mohsdorf GmbH had been founded two years earlier. As part of an extensive modernisation and development programme at the Lahnstein location, the construction of a new continuous sulfation plant and the new logistics centre are completed
  • 1998
    Acquisition of a textile auxiliaries manufacturer and foundation of Z&S, Inc. in Milledgeville, Georgia, USA, and development of the Fibre Auxiliaries, Ceramic Auxiliaries, Phosphonates and Care Specialities Divisions at this location
  • 2000
    Development of a production for special chemicals for the leather, ceramics and textile industries in Brazil, the world’s second largest tile market and one of the largest automotive leather markets
  • 2005
    Foundation of Z&S Chemical (Foshan) in China, the largest ceramics market in the world. In 2007 start of own production of ceramic auxiliaries, later expanded to textile, fibre and leather auxiliaries
  • 2006
    Foundation of Z&S Russia and development of a ceramic auxiliaries production and expansion of the sales network for the Fibre Auxiliaries, Leather Auxiliaries, Textile Auxiliaries and Care Specialities Divisions. Foundation of Z&S México, initially as a trading company for leather auxiliaries; later development of a ceramic and textile auxiliaries production
  • 2010
    Acquisition of Euro Kimya, development of the ceramic auxiliaries business in Turkey
  • 2012
    The Ceramic Auxiliaries Division of Z&S develops the new Trucolor product group, digital printer inks for tiles
  • 2013
    Acquisition of Lefatex Chemie GmbH with products for coating textile and carbon fibres and clutches for use in textile concrete
  • 2015
    The acquisition of the dyehouse business from Lamberti / Unichem, Italy, further strengthens the position of Z&S in the leather auxiliaries market. The acquisition of Gevartis AG, Switzerland, further develops the Ceramic Auxiliaries Division’s glass portfolio, adding interlayer fire-proof glass, in particular.
    The acquisition of Interpolymer Corporation, USA, adds polymer-based solutions to the portfolios of the divisions of Z&S and creates access to a growth market
  • 2017
    With the acquisition of the Lexolube Division from Inolex, Inc., USA, the product range was expanded in the Care Specialities Division with products for the manufacturing of synthetic oils and fats. Foundation of Zschimmer & Schwarz Ukraine as a sales representative for fibre, leather and textile auxiliaries as well as care specialities
  • 2018
    Foundation of Interpolymer Korea Co., Ltd. in the context of a joint venture agreement with KhaiEL Korea Co.
  • 2019
    Zschimmer & Schwarz celebrates its 125th anniversary. Zschimmer & Schwarz expands its product portfolio in the Leather Auxiliaries Division by joining forces with Samia S.p.A.
  • 2020
    Zschimmer & Schwarz is increasing its consistent focus on customer wishes and offers tailor-made solutions. With a restructuring of its business divisions, the corporate group is evolving strategically and intensifying its application orientation.
  • 2021
    Zschimmer & Schwarz joins the United Nations Global Compact, thereby emphasising its commitment to shaping the future with a focus on sustainability and responsibility for society.
  • 2023
    Zschimmer & Schwarz takes over 100% of Samia S.p.A. Change in the Executive Board of the Zschimmer & Schwarz Group.