Lightyears Collection
Fritzsche Brothers


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Corriander essential oil from Fritzsche Brothers

Corriander essential oil, from Fritzsche Brothers, division of Schimmel & Co.

Fritzsche Brothers (or Fritzche Brothers, as it is sometimes spelled) was established on August 28, 1871, at 62 Cedar Street, New York City, as a subsidiary of chemical maker Schimmel & Co., of Leipzig, Germany, for the purpose of importing and selling essential oils.

In 1894, Schimmel sent to America Frederick Henry Leonhardt, to give Fritzsche's non-technical president, Carl Brucker, needed technical assistance. Leonhardt, known as "Fritz," became a U.S. citizen in 1904. In 1934, when Brucker's successor, F.E. Watermeyer, died, Leonhardt became president. He held this position until 1953 when he surrendered the presidency to his vice president, John H. Montgomery, and assumed the position of chairman of the board. Thus Leonhardt's career with Fritzsche Brothers spanned a period of over 60 years.

In the 1920's, it was Leonhardt who arranged for Ernest Guenther to undertake his world travels and studies which resulted in Guenther's classic, 6-volume text, The Essential Oils, published in 1947.

The issue in the essential oil business is the uniformity and reliability of the oil itself. Guenther sent back samples to Fritzsche of properly collected and processed oils from all over the world, a task which greatly advanced the science and helped dealers sort out the genuine from the tainted or spurious.

In 1952, the year before he retired from the presidency, Leonhardt sanctioned the purchase by Fritzsche Brothers of Dodge & Olcott. In 1963 the firm was renamed Fritzsche, Dodge & Olcott. In 1980, Fritzsche, Dodge & Olcott was acquired by chemical giant BASF. Ten years later, in 1990, BASF sold Fritzsche, Dodge & Olcott to Givaudan.


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  • Andrea L.Cassullo Harkins, 05/04/2017. I am the granddaughter of Frederick H.Leonhardt. my Grandfather
    and Mr. Watermelon were also very good friends, and together acquired
    property up in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. My family istill goes up
    there every year. The place is over 100 years old. Also I remember when I
    was in elementary school, my mom would give me perfume samples which I
    would give to my teachers at Christmas. When my Dad became president of
    the company, he would bring home different candy to taste. My sister and I
    also went on a couple of tours of the company when we were young. My name
    is Andrea L.Cassullo Harkins. Harkins is my married name. I now live in
    Texas.
  • -, 01/18/2008.
    In the 1880's, Fritzsche bragged that it had installed rope and pulley elevators in its plant and had begun to employ women.