Ludwig Clamor Marquart, Pharmacist and businessman

Combining science with economics

Degussa

* 1804, Osnabrück

† 1881, Bonn

Ludwig Clamor Marquart was the son of an official of King Jerôme of Westphalia (a brother of Napoleon). He received his unusual name from one of his father’s employers, Ludwig Clamor, Baron von Schele. As his parents frequently changed places of residence, he was adopted by his mother’s brother, who lived in Kassel.

After his schooldays ended at the Carolinium Gymnasium in Kassel in 1818, Marquart began work as a pharmacist’s apprentice in Dissen in Hessen. As the training was very practice-oriented, he supplemented his theoretical knowledge through independent study. He completed the pharmacy assistantship examination in 1823, after which he worked in Lingen and Werden on the Ruhr, before moving to the court pharmacy in Cologne in 1828. At the same time, he conducted intensive scientific research into plants and minerals.

In October 1829, Marquart came to Bonn, where he prepared for the Pharmacist First Class examination at the university. After completing the exam in 1832 in Koblenz with top marks, he was appointed a year later to the position of pharmacy overseer for the district of Cologne by the Royal Government in Cologne. At the same time, he published 76 papers, mainly in "Buchners Repetitorium der Pharmazie" (Buchner’s Pharmacy Course). In 1835 he was awarded a doctorate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Heidelberg. However, his subsequent attempt to pursue an academic career at the university failed.

Marquart returned to Bonn and was commissioned to revise the “Textbook of Pharmacy” written by Philipp Lorenz Geiger, his doctoral supervisor in Heidelberg. During his work he met the chemist Justus Liebig, whom he helped with the distribution of his meat extract and whose Liebig-Horsford baking powder he later produced on an industrial scale.

In November 1837 Marquart received permission to set up a pharmaceutical institute on private premises. The first five students enrolled in the winter term of 1838. One of them was Remigius Fresenius, who later became an analyst and whose institute in Wiesbaden achieved worldwide fame. In addition to teaching, Marquart co-founded the Natural History Society of the Prussian Rhineland and published numerous works. The best known was his “Textbook of practical and theoretical pharmacy” published in 1842.

In 1843 Ludwig Clamor Marquart became engaged to the daughter of a Counselor of Justice in Bonn named Lambertz. They married in May 1847.

Marquart continued to pursue an academic career, and in 1844 he became an adjunct professor. However, since he had only completed an apprenticeship and had not studied at a university, he was refused a full professorship. His ensuing attempts to buy a pharmacy in Bonn and incorporate it into his pharmaceutical institute also failed. In the summer term of 1845, Marquart shut down his institute in which he had taught 150 students over a six year period.

In its place he bought, with the help of his father-in-law, a piece of land at no. 32 Thalweg in Bonn, and negotiated with the city for permission to build a chemical laboratory. The first entry in the bookkeeping ledgers for Dr. L.C. Marquart OHG is dated November 6, 1846. Production of fine chemicals, reagents, acids and pharmaceutical products started on December 1st. The Dr. L.C. Marquart factory, which has belonged to Degussa AG since 1936 and today is part of Evonik Industries, is therefore one of the oldest chemical producing companies in Germany.

Starting 1847, Marquart delivered lectures in Botany at the new Agricultural Academy in Poppelsdorf. The money he earned helped to sustain his factory in the difficult early years - particularly in 1848, the year of the revolution. However, the quality of the Marquart products soon prevailed and their excellent reputation resulted in rapid growth for the factory.

Between 1860 and 1865, Ludwig Clamor Marquart held a seat on the newly established examining board for pharmacy at the University in Bonn. He was a member of 14 scientific societies, including the Universal Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Industry, which made him honorary President in 1855.

After the death of his wife in 1863, he increasingly withdrew from public life in order to devote himself to the upbringing of his three children. Following a serious illness, he transferred the company to his sons Paul and Louis in January 1872. However, four years later, Paul, who was in charge of technical management, left the company following a disagreement. Ludwig Clamor Marquart’s state of health no longer permitted him to return to managing the factory. In 1874 he suffered his first stroke, which was followed by a second one five years later, from which he never recovered. He died on May 9, 1881. His grave can still be found in the Alten Friedhof (Old Cemetery) in Bonn. His monument, with an allegorical depiction of grief and inscription "Familie Marquart" stood until 1955 in the Catholic cemetery of St. Joseph in Beuel and replaced the original gravestone, which was destroyed during the war.

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