The cobblers’ glue started life as a niche product, but it’s high quality meant it was soon in big demand. It was manufactured from the gluten that results from wheat starch production. For the emerging shoe industry at the end of the 19th century, Crespel & Deiters refined the gluten to produce Vienna Glue, or as the workers called it: cobblers’ paste. The glue was also the first time the company has diversified its products. In addition to wheat starch, the glue now gave Crespel & Deiters another strategic product with relatively high added value that was in strong demand not just in the heartlands of the German shoe industry, but in Switzerland and Russia too.
Surviving the war
1914 marked the start of some difficult years for Germany. When World War I broke out, it was initially welcomed with patriotic passion, but throughout the duration of the war the full extent German policy’s lack of preparation for the emergency was revealed. The country’s food supplies collapsed.
A dramatic slump in production by German companies triggered an economy of thrift and emergency measures. Crespel & Deiters was also affected. The complete lack of wheat flour as a result of the war, and the deployment of business owners to the front meant business operations ceased for a long period.
During this time, the company looked after the relatives of those of its employees deployed to the front. Although production ceased, Crespel & Deiters supported the staff’s families and helped many of them out of their dire straits.