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Historical Background of Chemical and Rubber Industry in Serbia

Development before the First World War

The oldest traces of industrial manufacturing on the area occupied by Serbia today could be found in the Middle Age and they are directly connected with the development of mining and metallurgy. They are related as well to the development of construction materials manufacturing (lime, resin, tar and some other products), that could be assumed as the begining of applied chemistry in Serbia.

Lately, actually by the time of awakening of the national consciousness, chemical production was primarily based on the skill of production of gunpowder as well as on getting knowledge in producing swiss rolex replica of candles, hygienic preparations (first of all soaps), paints and medicaments.

By the end of XVIII and beginning of XIX century, almost every mill in Serbia grounded gunpowder. In the second half of XIX century, 33 manufacturers of gunpowder were already officially registered. Most of gunpowder factories were around towns of Krusevac, Uzice, Cuprija and Svilajnac. With share capital and state investment, construction of the first bigger gunpowder factory "Obilicevo" began in town Krusevac, which started with work in 1892 (after the Second World War it worked under the name "Miloje Zakic" and today it presents large industry corporation TRAYAL.)

Another important embryo of chemical industry in Serbia was manufacturing of candles and soaps. Manufacturing of soaps at the very beginning in our country was a homemade manufacture and first it was for the needs of just one or more households and later on for the needs of the market as well. It is hard to find out when actually the manufacturing of soap stopped to be a home made manufacture and became manufacturing for market. We assume that it was at the beginning of the XVI century.

First manufacturers of soap were candlemakers and when by the appearance of the petrol lamps needs for candles decreased, and fat and potash supply increased, this provided good conditions for increase of soap manufacturing. In the last century, in the region cheap converse star of Serbia from that period there were quite a few manufacturers of soap, but not many of them who had continual and bigger production. Manufacturers of soaps and candles were not welcome to the cities, since from their workshops spread unpleasant odor. But the owners somehow managed to locate their shops predominantly in the small towns and even in Belgrade.

Foundation of the workshop of Gligorije-Glisa Jankovic in town Krusevac in 1839 could be assumed as the start of soap manufacturing at a more serious prosuction level - this workshop was later connected with foundation of today's large chemical company MERIMA. One of the prominent manufacturers of soaps in XIX century was also the "Shop of Jovan Vlajcic & Sons", founded in town Krusevac in 1872. Production of soaps specially enlarged at the beginning of XX century. Well-known workshops at that time were also the "Shop for Guts and Soaps of Staper Neti" from Belgrade founded in 1900 and the "Soap Shop" of Zak V. Jakov from Sabac founded in 1909.

Organization of paints and varnishes manufacturing in Serbia started at the end of the XIX century. In the period among 1894-1896 the Belgrade’s merchant Dimitrije M. Djoric started construction of several production units for manufacturing of aniline dyes, chemical and ground paints, varnishes and petrol nearby "Mostarska petlja" and factory got a name "First Serbian Royal Authorized Factory of Paints and Varnishes" - this factory was demolished during the First World War. Manufacturing facilities of that time had production capacities from some tens to some hundreds of tons per year.

Poverty, unsanitary living conditions, wars and epidemics were the reason that in Serbia people started thinking of protecting and curing inhabitants in organized manner. By the end of the last century, great deal of work was done in winning necessary vaccine and serum for infectious diseases in Serbia. The result of that struggle was manufacturing of vaccine for variola and rabies in 1900 created by Pasteur's Institute from Nis. During the First World War and immediately after the War, assortment of vaccines and serums were enlarged.

The fact that development of industry till the First World War was regulated by the following laws illustrates that certain care was taken about that matter:

                                    * 1873. Law on Industrial Companies

                                    * 1896. Law on Stock Companies

                                    * 1898. Law on Support for Industry

                                    * 1904. Law on General Customs’ Tariff

                                    * 1910. Law on Shops


Development Between Two World Wars


After the First World War, followed the reconstruction of the country, as well as reconstruction of demolished and damaged industrial facilities. Among those facilities, there were chemical industry capacities as well. Characteristic of that time was that Vojvodina became part of Serbia, so that the period of reconstruction included this area iphone 4 battery as well. It should be emphasized that in this region chemical industry was already considerably more developed in comparison to the other parts of Serbia, so in this region more industrial facilities were reconstructed and built.

Soon after the war, some companies restored manufacturing. Company "Glisa Jankovic & Son" in Krusevac not long after the war continued manufacturing, so that already in 1919 this company lanched in the market "Merima Children's Soap" and in 1927 this company changed the name and got today’s name Merima. In 1919 "Workshop for manufacturing of Soaps, Candles and Perfumes" from Novi Beckerek, that was founded in 1884 by Lukic Ljubomir, changed its name and continued to work under today’s name LUXOL. Some other producers of washing preparations from Vojvodina restored production activity, such as factory "Sicer Jakov & Son" in Novi Sad (this company, originally founded in 1871 as "First association of soaps manufacturers from Novi Sad", in 1927 changed the name and got today’s name Albus) and soap factory in Subotica (founded in 1886 as the workshop of Bek Maure, after the Second World War this factory got today’s name Slavica). Manufacturing of soap was already between two wars brought to industrial level which illustrates data that in 1939 in Serbia 3,038 tons of soaps were manufactured.

Chemical industry "Clotild" from Subotica in 1920 restored production activities under new name Zorka. It started with manufacturing of sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid, green vitriol, magnesium sulphate and copper sulphate. After the First World War, original production in Krusevac was restored by factory Obilicevo and in 1927, first rubber products were included in its manufacturing program.

Spreading to the locations in Novi Sad (1921) and in Belgrade (1926) Pasteur's Institute from Nis continued with its work. In 1929, a building project at Torlak (Belgrade) for manufacturing of vaccines and serums was completed. Network of pharmacies in Serbia was enlarged where certain kinds of drugs were prepared, specially galenics. In this way, the base for pharmaceutical industry was established.

During the third and the fourth decade of the XX century, number of important chemical and rubber industry facilities was constructed and put into operation. So, company for manufacturing of toiletries Dahlia from Zemun was founded in 1924 and already next year companies Brixol from Vrsac and HINS from Novi Sad. In the same year the factory of rubber products named Rekord was founded in Leskovac (in 1935 this factory was moved to Belgrade). In 1927 "Belgrade’s Factory of Asphalt and Tar Products" was created - from 1936 till 1946 it worked under the name Srbobit, and in 1946 factory got today’s name Grmec.

During 1930, Belgrade’s merchant Nedeljko Savic founded "The first Belgrade’s Factory of Colors and Varnishes" - that was an embryo of today's company Duga, that has been working under that name from 1947. In the same year, the varnishes factory "Reinhold, Fliger und Boking" was founded in Knezevac, as the branch-office of company "Reinhold", a well-known Austrian manufacturer of paints & varnishes. Should be mentioned that in years before the Second World War the volume of coatings production in Serbia was about 1,300 tpy.

In 1929, engineer Borivoje Vuckovic in Rakovica, Belgrade’s suburb at that time, put into operation first plant for manufacturing of oxygen. That factory was in 1930 purchased by company "Aga-Ruse", and in 1934 it started to produce acetylene. In 1953 the name of the factory was changed to "Factory of oxygen and acetylene" and from 1965 it worked under toady’s name Tehnogas.

Several new chemical and rubber facilities started were erected between 19934 and 1939: chemical factory Zupa from Krusevac in 1934, rubber factory Tigar from Pirot in 1935, rubber factory Vulkan from Nis in 1937, chemical factory Zorka from Sabac in 1938 and explosives factory VISTAD - Visegrad Industry "Stankovic” from Baric in 1939 (since 1948 this factory has worked under today’s name Prva iskra).

New chemical factories expanded assortment of chemical products and specially developed manufacturing of basic inorganic chemicals. Facilities of special importance were plants for production of sulfuric acid and copper sulfate in the factory Zorka from Sabac and they were at that time the biggest on Balkan.


Development After the Second World War     

During the World War II a great number of chemical factories was demolished and some of them were completely ruined. Just a small number of chemical facilities worked from time to time, only for war needs.

After the war, first thing was to repair damaged factories. According to the social system of the country in that period, concept of planned economy was applied. Development of economy was as a whole coordinated by five-year plans where chemical industry took important part.

Most intensive development of the chemical industry and rubber industry was realized in the period among 1950-1985, while petrochemical industry was seriously developed only in the period among 1975-1985. Within this period most of the basic capacities, accompanied by certain processing facilities, were built. After 1985, practically none of the high-tonnage basic capacity was built, but mainly processing facilities.