A shortage of capital is a consequence of world War I: In 1919, a bond is issued
The total value amounts to seven million marks. Sharply rising prices in Germany lead to a shortage of resources needed in operating business. At the same time, the weak mark fuels exports. Following the currency turmoil of the following years, the bond is virtually worthless to buyers.
Fighting the pest plague in the wine-growing regions of Germany and Austria
“Dr. Sturms Heu- und Sauerwurmmittel” is the first of a range of crop protection agents that are launched as of 1921. In 1925, the company successfully positions it as the only registered product in a government-run assistance program for vintners in the Palatinate region of Germany.
1933 to 1945: The period of National Socialism
When Hitler comes to power in 1933, the company also must adapt its operations and everyone must tow the party line in daily life. In 1942, the first laborers arrive in Darmstadt from occupied parts of Eastern Europe. Death and destruction – that is the outcome for the company in 1945.
1953: Establishment of the family stock corporation
In 1953, the partnership creates the joint stock company called “E. Merck Aktiengesellschaft, Darmstadt, Germany. Its shares are not traded on the stock exchange, but held by the general partnership (OHG), which represents the interests of the family members as general or silent partners.
As of 1955, modern technical microbiology makes biotech steroid syntheses possible
At the time, corticoids are a highly topical research area. The company takes over licenses for a microbiological process to manufacture prednisone and prednisolone. This and the start of extensive synthesis work culminates in the build-up of state-of-the-art fermentation technology as of 1955.
In 1968, scientists have come to recognize the great potential of liquid crystals
Impetus from the trade press leads to a renaissance of work on liquid crystals in Darmstadt. In the late 1960s, these substances are marketed under the brand Licristal. The search for technical application possibilities starts. In 1972, a digital watch with “liquid numbers” is made by the company.
1967: The “Merck’sche Kindertagesstättenverein” is founded
Child care was offered for the first time in 1940 as the war meant women also had to work in the factory. In 1967, the Merck family established the “Merck’sche Kindertagesstättenverein” for entirely different reasons. In 1969, the creche, nursery school and school aftercare program are opened.
1970: Milestone in the production of pearlescent pigments
With mica, an ideal substrate for pigments is found. The leaf-shaped material is naturally available in large quantities. The coating of the material leads to superb results. The mineral is processed in rotating furnaces, among others.