The end is only the beginning
It is in the nature of an entrepreneur not to see devastating disasters as a defeat but, much rather, as an opportunity to start anew. The end of the old is the start of something new. During these difficult times, Josef Deiters, the son-in-law of Alexander Crespel, the company founder, once again proved his qualities as a company director and patriarch. Within just one year, he rebuilds the Crespel & Deiters wheat starch factory again – bigger and more efficient than ever before.
Plans and drawings of the new starch factory after the large fire
Back then, the property on which the old starch factory used to stand, still belonged to aristocrats. It is Josef Deiters’ plan to change this and, as an initial step in his reconstruction plans, he buys it from Prince Carl von Arenberg in Brussels. In contrast to this, the family of the prince takes over the agricultural operation on the 1.4 hectare areal and grants the company a generous loan. With this mutually beneficial business model, Crespel & Deiters now has enough capital for reconstructing and expanding the factory site. The company pays the interest in kind. In that it irrigates the grassland surrounding the factory with the sour water that is created during starch production, the soil, which used to be poor and sandy, is turned into high-yield, arable farm land.
Excerpt from the protocol on the official ground-breaking ceremony on the 4th of July 1891, after the large fire.
Luise Deiters (1835–1909)
On the 4th of July 1891, in the presence of the employees, the family and municipal dignitaries, the foundation stone is laid for the new factory. Luise Deiters, the second wife of the patriarch summarises this important moment in the company’s history in emotional words: “May the employers and the employees always be connected in this plant in the same firm unity for all times, as this first stone connects with the first mortar.”
Construction images of the new washing drums for the separation of the wheat starch from the husks.
New course, heading toward the future
This way, with a great deal of entrepreneurial spirit and gumption, the seemingly catastrophic event resulted in the modern company Crespel & Deiters. Because, the new construction heralds the start of the company’s continued technical development. All facilities are modernised. Year by year, production and buildings are expanded further. The continual expansion of the plant installations is based on a consistent quality strategy.
The supply with fresh water and waste water treatment is optimised. New steam boilers, chimney systems and washing drums are developed and installed, the gluten facility is expanded. And the safety standards for preventing accidents and fires are also increased significantly. At the start of the 20th century, the result of all this is that Crespel & Deiters is a modern and competitive starch factory. To this very day.
The newly constructed wheat starch factory anno 1892.