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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 and fur 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