Hans Stockhausen, Industrialist and chemist

Stockhausen

* 1879, Krefeld

† 1951, ebd.

It was obvious early on that Hans Stockhausen would one day succeed his father Dr. Julius Stockhausen, who had founded the Krefeld-based soap factory Stockhausen & Traiser. Too early, in fact, to allow him to continue his Chemistry studies, which he had just started at the University of Freiburg. However, Hans Stockhausen was needed in his father’s company at the end of the 19th century to aid in developing new products to help the company move forward.

At that time, soap was widely used in the textile industry for cleaning and dyeing material as well as further processing. To this purpose, Dr. Julius Stockhausen developed a special oil based on Turkish red oil, which he improved by subjecting castor oil to an additional sulfonating process. The resulting products, which Dr. Julius Stockhausen named “Monopol soap” and “Monopol oil” represented a special breakthrough for him. Even decades later, these two worldwide successes were acknowledged as the “first real textile additives.”

Hans Stockhausen continued the development of Monopol soap and Monopol oil, which initially had only been successful in the laboratory, in order to go into production on a large scale; he also broadened the area of application and was successful in ensuring that it was widely used. Monopol soap was of particular interest for the silk industry, the center of which was, and still is, Krefeld.

The success of these products on the market led to company expansion in 1907, resulting in the construction of the factory on the Bäkerpfad in Krefeld, which still exists today. On Dec.1, 1912 it became a legally independent company trading under the name Chemische Fabrik Stockhausen & Cie. The general partners of the company were Dr. Julius Stockhausen’s sons, with Hans Stockhausen playing a predominant role.

For decades, he was crucial to the company’s success, which, under his leadership, developed additional important textile and leather additives, including grease dissolving soaps (“Tetrapol” and “Verapol”) and the first wetting agent to withstand acids and alkalis (“Praestabit”). He also initiated the so-called Bayer contract in 1907, which did not expire until 1991. This resulted in a close cooperation with the Leverkusen-based chemical company. Stockhausen transferred the export of his complete product range to Bayer; in return, Bayer did not compete on the domestic market and also made available some of its own expertise.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the 1930s, Hans Stockhausen initiated the development of skin creams, the first of which, PRAECUTAN, came onto the market in 1934 and enjoyed extraordinary success within just a few years. With this, he laid the foundation for the STOKO Skin Care business line, which today is part of the Degussa Care Specialties Business Unit. After his death, Hans Stockhausen left behind a successful company that would subsequently turn to activities beyond the textile industry.