FA Sarg's Son & Co.

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FA Sarg's Son & Co.
legal form Partnership
Seat Vienna
Branch Mixed company

FA Sarg's Sohn & Co. was an important chemical company south of Vienna in Liesing in the 19th century . It had been acquired and continued by Friedrich Albert Sarg and his son Carl. The company developed the transparent glycerine toilet soap in 1860 and produced the wax product ceresine from 1874 . In 1887, the company first launched the toothpaste called " Kalodont " in tubes .


Factory in Liesing (around 1900), in the foreground the route of the southern railway

The history of this factory, which was also decisive for the general development of the fat industry in Austria, is related to the history of the stearin industry. The experiments that Eugène Chevreul began in 1811 and ended in 1825 to the point where he and Gay-Lussac could apply for the patent , established the nature of fats. In 1813 he discovered by decomposing a soap made from lard and olive oil that it could be separated into solid and liquid fat by separating out glycerine . These fats had the properties of acids . In 1816 he called the solid fat "stearic acid", also called stearin, the liquid fat "oleic acid" elaine or Elain for short. Despite the granting of the patent, the technical difficulties were far from over. It took a full six years until A. de Milly, by introducing lime saponification, made Chevreul's idea usable for industry and was able to build a candle factory together with Motard. In the meantime the study of wick preparation was started . Chambacérès succeeded in making the wick suitable for the candle with sufficient staining. The first factory was established near the Barrière de l'étoile in Paris . The candles made there were called "Bougies de Milly" or "Bougies de l'étoile".

In 1834 candles were exhibited and awarded for the first time at the Paris industrial exhibition. It was the Milly candles. After A. de Milly saw that his stearin production process was successful, he decided to exploit his patents, including that for the production of Elain soap, abroad and set up new factories.

In Austria-Hungary he received a privilege to produce candles on July 7, 1837 and set up his factory in what was then the Vienna suburb of Wieden . He brought excellent stearin candles on the market under the name "Milly candles", which were the oldest stearin candles introduced in Austria-Hungary. Together with his brother G. de Milly, after some difficulties, according to the decree of December 16, 1839, he founded the exclusively privileged "Milly-Kerzen-Fabriksgesellschafts G. de Milly" with its seat at Wieden No. 83, later Wohllebengasse 10.

The area of ​​the Sarg-Werke ("candle factory") in Liesing around the year 1872 (excerpt from the recording sheet 1: 25,000 of the state survey )

In 1854 a new production facility was built in Liesing on the site of the former Groißmühle, south-east of the Liesing station on the southern railway . This work did not remain in the company's possession for long; it was bought by FA Sarg from Frankfurt am Main in 1858 . His son Carl Sarg (1832–1895) stood by his side. Together they both managed to expand the factory into a model company. Here Sarg jun. utilize the knowledge and experience that he had acquired during his studies with Justus von Liebig .

Around 1900, around 60 people were employed in the toilet soap and calodont production. The total number of workers was 300, half of them men. In its heyday, the plant employed around 480 people. The factory had a fire brigade and workers' houses for twenty families. A separate workshop was available for the necessary repairs.

The company had a sales shop ( Comptoir ) in Vienna 4 ( Wieden ), Schwindgasse 7, whose address appears in advertisements of the time and whose building also served as the residence of family members. The building is under monument protection and is referred to as " Haus Sarg " by the Federal Monuments Office . There is a built in 1873 by Claus and Great Palais with large Corinthian pilasters , vasenbekrönter Attica and a foyer with pilasters, adorned in the stairwell floor (Paviment) and Majolikabecken .

Operations had to be restricted after the First World War . The son of Carl Sarg, who also had this name, sold the plant in 1925 to Shift AG . This in turn became part of Unilever . In 1929 the big chimney was blown up. Production was continued on parts of the site. Parts of the factory premises were contaminated with production residues such as acids, which attacked the shoes. Children were forbidden to play on the grounds. The company's premises were called "Coffin Grounds". In 1959 it was divided into plots of between 500 and 2000 m² and family houses were built on these plots.

Existing until 2014: Residential houses for employees of the Sarg-Werke, Alois-Dachs-Gasse 6 and 8.

Residential houses still exist as remnants of the complex: two of them were in Alois-Dachs-Gasse until 2014, they have been demolished. Two other buildings of the company were built in 1870/1880 as factory buildings and later adapted as residential buildings. They are located at Karl-Sarg-Gasse 28 and Nusching-Gasse 12. These are two-story brick buildings with a cross-shaped floor plan, with a tower-shaped tower in the middle. The facades are structured by risalits and pilaster strips . The house in Nuschinggasse was also used by an optics company. Today's Alois-Dachs-Gasse, located in the east of the factory premises, was formerly known as Arbeitergasse; it was renamed in 1957.

The multi-storey house opposite the confluence of Karl-Sarg-Gasse and Ketzergasse, which is sometimes referred to as the management house of the Sarg company, did not belong to this company (like the production hall further south), but to the company “Accumulatoren-Werke System Pollak AG” , Zweigniederlassung Wien “, a company from Frankfurt am Main, whose plant was built in 1898 on the border with Liesing in Perchtoldsdorf.

Carl coffin

Tomb of the Carl Sarg family, at the Liesing cemetery (group 4, crypt no.5)

Carl Sarg (born February 10, 1832 - March 14, 1895) was born with Anna. Nestle (born December 5, 1843 - † October 13, 1926) married. They had several children together: Carl junior, Anna who later married Miska Bauer, Lilly, Frieda and Olga Sarg.

In addition to his position as head of the company FA Sarg's Sohn & Co., he was on the board of directors of the kk priv. Österr. Länderbank , the Österreichisch-Alpinen Montangesellschaft , the Trifailer Kohlenwerk-Gesellschaft and the Actien-Gesellschaft der Brauerei Liesing .

He was appointed imperial councilor for his services, held the title of commercial councilor , was appointed imperial purveyor to the court and, among other things, was made a knight of the Franz Joseph Order . After a short illness, he died at the age of 63 on the afternoon of March 14, 1895 and was buried to rest in the family crypt in the local cemetery in Liesing according to the Protestant rite.

The street along the former company premises was later named after Carl Sarg Karl-Sarg-Gasse . It begins at Breitenfurter Straße, leads with a footbridge over Liesing and after the crossing with Franz-Parsche-Gasse through the former factory premises to Ketzergasse.

Company products

The amount of fat required for production was saponified in four autoclaves with a capacity of around 2000 kilograms and then decomposed in large lead-lined reservoirs with a capacity of around 6000 to 8000 liters. The fatty acids were washed and, after solidification, separated into solid and liquid by eight cold and seven hot presses . After clarification, the stearin was poured on around 70 candle machines. Some of the fatty acid was distilled using nine stills.

The glycerine was evaporated in two powerful vacuum devices and then passed through spodium filters , of which there were 15 in the factory, and then brought to quality and purity in four stills . House soap was made in four large soap kettles. 40 iron molds were used to pour the soap strands, after which they were cut and punched into manageable pieces by appropriate machines.

The raw material ozokerite required for the extraction of ceresin was processed in six iron stirrers with sulfuric acid , the impurities resulting from this ceresin were freed from the impurities by hydraulic filter presses and marketed in white and yellow colors and in various shapes. Christmas candles were also made from the artificial wax. The wax residues contained in the press residues were recovered by extraction . The ceresin became an export item.

Carl Sarg also introduced margarine production in Austria. However, this soon had to be given up again. The artificial edible fat "Ceres" (not with ceresin confuse) was only in 1905 by the company layer Johann sold.


Advertisement for Kalodont toothpaste and soaps by FA Sarg's Son & Co. (1908)

In addition to the many glycerine articles that Carl Sarg brought onto the world market in the course of time, Kalodont was added in 1887 , the world's first toothpaste in tubes , which, thanks to its excellent sanitary properties and practical packaging, is still the model for toothpaste as a mass product today. Kalodont was available in tubes five years before Sheffield's and nine years before Colgate toothpaste . For the advertising campaign , artists such as the French Louis Vallet (1856–1940) were hired to draw colorful advertising cards. Even the great actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844–1923) promoted Kalodont.

The Kalodont toothpaste was the premier branded product before World War I. The brand was so successful that Sarg registered the name in 34 states in 1890. A pharmacist in Belgrade used the name Kraschokowic Kalodont for his product shortly before the First World War . Sarg lost the process of safeguarding his naming rights on the judicial grounds that Kalodont had meanwhile become the generic name for toothpaste. Kalodont was marketed by the Elida company until 1981.


In 1874 ceresin production was introduced in the Liesingen factory and two years later the first extraction of it was introduced in Austria. The raw wax or ozokerite could be found in Austria and Galicia . However, the production of ceresin could not really establish itself at the beginning.

Stearin candles

The method of manufacturing stearin candles at that time was divided into four main processes:

  1. Presentation of the fatty acid by saponification of the fats and decomposition of the soap.
  2. Separation of the solid fatty acids through crystallization and pressing.
  3. the clarification of the stearin.
  4. pouring candles.

Of these four processes, the methods of preparing the fatty soaps and their decomposition have changed the most over time, while the manufacturing methods of the other groups, with the exception of the candle foundry itself, have remained almost the same. The saponification and decomposition of the fats were carried out according to the old Milly method. A vat lined with lead was coated with tallow and, after it had melted, saponified with 13 to 14% milk of lime while stirring and heating continuously. After five to seven hours, the saponification was complete, whereupon the glycerine water in the soap was separated out. The glycerin water which was too dilute to be processed on glycerin was drained. Then the now cooled solid soap was beaten out of the vat with staples , pulverized and sieved . The soap thus obtained was then decomposed by sulfuric acid.

The first thing the coffins introduced was the use of a thinner milk of lime for saponification. This small change, already known to German factories at the time, saved the laborious knocking out of the vats and made decomposition easier and faster. Instead of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid was used for the decomposition , which eliminated the annoying and time-consuming manipulation of the plaster of paris. After the introduction of high-pressure apparatus for saponification, in the course of time the decomposition by means of sulfuric acid was used again.

When the factory was taken over, it was FA and Carl Sarg, who were also joined for a time by a German stearin manufacturer, W. Vollmar from Offenbach near Frankfurt am Main, who realized that the saponification process at that time was out of date and was being replaced by saponification using high-pressure apparatus must be.

In 1835 Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge discovered saponification with lime under high pressure, but it was not until 1851 that Milly improved it so significantly that it could be introduced into production. Immediately after acquiring the factory, FA Sarg and his son turned to Messrs. Fouchers and Wrigth, who set up the first high-pressure apparatus in Liesing in September 1858. At that time, 12 atmospheres pressure and 1 to 2% lime were used. Even if these devices did not prove to be as effective at the beginning as the users would have liked, the advantage over the old method described above was great. The process was changed several times, but the advantages achieved were no longer as significant as with the transition from the old saponification process to saponification with high-pressure apparatus.

The fatty acids obtained after the decomposition with sulfuric acid were washed, solidified by crystallization and then the solid stearic and palmitic acids were separated from the liquid oleic acid by cold and hot pressing. The stearin obtained in this way was clarified by boiling with sulfuric acid and then pouring the candles into hand molds. There were also difficulties with the casting itself. The candles came out of the mold with difficulty, the heads tore off, the wick came out of its position easily, etc. To avoid these inconveniences, the candles were poured onto so-called “candle tables”. Before casting began, the molds, into which the pickled wick had been drawn, were placed in a box with double walls, between which steam could be introduced, and heated to 45 degrees Celsius , after which the stearin was poured. Apart from the cumbersome heating and cooling of the mass, the centering of the wick was not satisfactory.

With the introduction of candle machines, candles with a uniform appearance could be poured up to 100 pieces at a time.

Glycerine soaps

Johann Juncker already knew in 1753 that fats reappear when fats are distilled. The patent taken by Chevreul and Gay-Lussac in 1825 mentioned the distillation of fats using steam. However, the method was not yet fully developed to be used successfully. The temperature to which the fat masses were heated was around 300 degrees. This was far too high and favored the formation of acrolein. Milly later improved the process by reducing the temperature to around 180 degrees, Augustin-Pierre Dubrunfaut also tried to break down the neutral fats by distillation in 1841, but this was only successful when the fat decomposition by means of sulfuric acid became widespread and instead of fats the fatty acid distilled. In Liesing, too, there was a distillation according to the old method of de Milly and Gay-Lussac as early as 1858. The results at that time, however, were such that the discontinuation of distillation in 1858 made a significant contribution to reducing manufacturing costs and improving the product. While distillations in later decades only contained 0.5 to a maximum of 1% unsaponifiables ( hydrocarbons ), the product at that time contained well over 15% hydrocarbons. With the old process, the vapors produced endangered the workers' eyes. In 1870 a new fat distillation facility was set up in Liesing, which was gradually improved.

The liquid fatty acid, the Elain, was freed from the adhering stearin by filtration and used to make the Elain and Milly soap.

The glycerine released during saponification was discovered in 1778 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele while cooking lead plasters and examined in more detail by Chevreul, Théophile-Jules Pelouze and Bertholet. For a long time, plaster preparation was the only source for displaying glycerine. The great dilution which the glycerine waters had in the old Milly's process made it difficult to obtain the glycerine from it without too great a cost, quite apart from the fact that it easily decomposed when heated. The dirty color was also an obstacle to represent the product, which was initially only used in pharmaceuticals , on a large scale.

With the introduction of the high-pressure apparatus, concentrated glycerine water was obtained, but this was drained as worthless until 1859. One of the important introductions of the Sarg'schen Fabrik in the field of fat industry was the first factory production of glycerine. Sarg made use of the experiences that had been made in the sugar industry and avoided decomposition by evaporating the glycerine in a vacuum. To further purify it, it was filtered through clay . Bone charcoal ( Spodium ) was used later . Even if this glycerine did not meet all the requirements of the regulations for the manufacture of medicinal products in later times, it was still produced relatively pure. Carl Sarg had his old teacher Justus von Liebig begin studies on the properties of this new material. Glycerine was soon available to large-scale industry and was generally used for finishing purposes, in wallpaper manufacture , for filling gas meters , etc., and in the manufacture of medicines.

In the meantime, the Price company in England had introduced the distillation process using superheated steam to produce glycerine. In 1867, Sarg was the first to introduce this on the continent. As a result, glycerine production was so improved that the factory in Liesing could boast of having brought the purest glycerine onto the world market first. In 1873 Carl Sarg discovered the crystallizability of glycerine and based it on a new process of glycerine extraction.

The glycerine industry made a big step forward with the introduction of nitroglycerine in the form of dynamite in blasting technology.

Medicine soon recognized the many excellent properties of this alcohol. Pioneering chemists and doctors, including Justus von Liebig, Friedrich Wöhler , the discoverer of artificial urea, Scherzer , the well-known Novara traveler , Hans von Hebra and Josef Redtenbacher have researched the properties of glycerine and toilet articles made from glycerine.

Attempts have been made to add glycerine to toilet soaps with the aim of practically utilizing the substance which is pleasant to the skin . Carl Sarg thus invented the transparent glycerine soaps, which soon became one of the most common industrially produced consumer goods. Initially 33% glycerin was added to the soap. Later it was possible to increase the ability of the soap to absorb glycerine to such an extent that over 90% glycerine could be added without changing its firmness . This item, the last one Carl Sarg made shortly before his death, is the Adoucine.


Individual evidence

  1. ^ FA Sarg's Sohn & Co .. In: Die Groß-Industrie Oesterreichs. Ceremony for the glorious fiftieth anniversary of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor Franz Josef I, presented by the Austrian industrialists in 1898. Volume 6. Weiss, Vienna 1898, pp. 41–43.
  2. a b Josef Ehn: Festschrift 950 years of Liesing. Edited by the district council for the (then) XXV. District of the City of Vienna. Vienna 1953, p. 19.
  3. ^ Decision (PDF; 52 kB) of the Claims Resolution Tribunal in matters of dormant accounts of Holocaust victims (Litigation Case No. CV96-4849 in re Accounts of Eugen and Frida Boschan (born as Frieda Caroline Sarg on May 19, 1903 in Vienna ), Claim Number: 501442 / SJ).
  4. ^ Dehio-Handbuch : Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Topographical inventory of monuments. Published by the Austrian Federal Monuments Office. Part Vienna, Volume 2: II. To IX. and XX. District. Verlag Anton Schroll, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-7031-0680-8 , p. 195.
  5. ^ Rudolf Spitzer: Liesing. Preserving the old, creating the new. Verlag Mohl, Vienna 1994, ISBN 3-900272-50-6 , p. 128.
  6. ^ Dehio-Handbuch: Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs. Published by the Austrian Federal Monuments Office. Part Vienna, Volume 3: X. to XIX and XXI to XXIII. District. Verlag Schroll, Vienna 1996, ISBN 3-7031-0693-X , p. 706.
  7. ^ Dehio-Handbuch Wien, Volume 3, p. 717.
  8. ^ Dehio-Handbuch Wien, Volume 3, p. 721.
  9. ^ The large-scale industry in Austria. Celebration for the glorious 50th anniversary. Jubilee of His Majesty the Emperor Franz Josef I. Vienna 1898, Leopold Weiss. Pp. 200-201.
  10. ^ Carl Sarg obituary notice. In: 10977. Neue Freie Presse , March 16, 1895, p. 16 , accessed on January 18, 2010 .
  11. Deaths. In: The Chemist and Druggist. March 30, 1895, p. 465 , accessed January 18, 2009 .
  12. a b History and development of the Milly candle, soap and glycerine factory, which was privately owned by the kk, owned by FA Sarg's Sohn & Co. Verlag der Fabrik FA Sarg's Sohn & Co., Liesing, 1898. District Museum Liesing, inventory number 2446.
  13. ^ History. (No longer available online.) European tube manufacturers association (etma), January 18, 2009, archived from the original on March 14, 2010 ; accessed on January 18, 2009 (English): “1887: FA Sarg (Austria) launches toothpaste“ Kalodont ”in tubes“ Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.etma-online.org
  14. ^ André Kugener: Museum → Dentistry → A more card: KALODONT advertising card. Medical History Museum, 2008, accessed on January 18, 2009 : “Paris 5 avril 1890: Je déclare que cette pâte dentifrice KALODONT est saine, agréable au goût et qu'elle réalise leproblemème rèvé, car elle donne à la bouche la beauté, le parfum et la santé. "
  15. ^ Alois Brusatti : History of Unilever Austria . Wiener Verlag, Himberg bei Wien 1985, pp. 20-22.


  • Primo Calvi: Representation of the political district Hietzing surrounding area through a comprehensive description of all villages, localities, churches, schools, castles, institutions and noteworthy objects, etc. etc. Self-published, Vienna 1901, pp. 34–36.
  • H. Reiterer:  Sarg, Johann Heinrich Karl. In: Austrian Biographical Lexicon 1815–1950 (ÖBL). Volume 9, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 1988, ISBN 3-7001-1483-4 , p. 424.

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Commons : FA Sarg's Sohn & Co.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 48 ° 7 ′ 57.8 "  N , 16 ° 17 ′ 7.4"  E