175 years of Fritz Henkel

Pioneer, leader and visionary

175 years of Fritz Henkel

Who was Fritz Henkel and how did he shape the company

Fritz Henkel, the founder of our company, was born 175 years ago. His courage, determination and outstanding entrepreneurial skills laid the foundation for one of Germany’s most renowned family companies. He was an entrepreneur and pioneer by heart. He challenged the status quo and dared to explore the new and unknown. From the start, he built on latest scientific insights, committed to high quality, and spearheaded innovative advertising approaches. At the same time, he stood for responsibility and care for his employees.

His ideas, achievements and values have shaped our company and its culture. They inspire and guide us – today and in the future. Therefore, we want to honor his great life’s work with this interactive website.

Fritz Henkel sen.
Fritz Henkel sen. and his family

An eventful life

Fritz Henkel was born in 1848 in a small town in Hesse, Germany. He became enthusiastic about chemistry at an early age. At just 17, he left his birthplace for an apprenticeship as a merchant – the beginning of a unique entrepreneurial career.

Click here to learn more about the biography of the company founder:

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The entrepreneur

On September 26, 1876, Fritz Henkel and his two partners founded the company Henkel & Cie in Aachen. Just two years later, he moved the company to Düsseldorf.

Find out here, how Fritz Henkel succeeded in developing his company through innovation, entrepreneurial vision and decisiveness:

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Brand pioneer

In 1878, Fritz Henkel achieved his first brand success with Henkel’s Bleich-Soda. In the decades that followed, many other innovative, imaginative and successful products expanded the range. A lot of these traditional brands still exist today.

Learn more about our brand history here:

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Fritz Henkel and his employees

Fritz Henkel was convinced that his company and himself would only prosper, if his employees prospered as well. His attitude shaped the company’s staff, wage and social policies and played a major role in ensuring that Henkel emerged strengthened from the severe crises of the time.

Find out here what working at Henkel looked like at that time:

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Living legacy

As an entrepreneur and courageous pioneer, Fritz Henkel revolutionized the everyday lives of many people. In doing so, he laid the foundation for the success story of our company.

In this section, you can learn more about how Fritz Henkel’s legacy continues to shape us today:

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Fritz Henkel sen.

Start your journey through Fritz Henkel's life

Click on the button below and immerse yourself in the exciting life and founding story of Fritz Henkel!

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All photos, unless otherwise indicated, are from the Henkel Collection, Corporate Heritage