Kranich Soap Co.

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Kranich Soap Co.

Kranich Soap Co. was originally Kranich Chemical Co. located at 115 9th St., Brooklyn, in 1921. In 1924 they merged with Specification Soap Co. to form the Kranich & Specification Soap Co. here at 54-60 Richards St. In 1926 the name changed to Kranich Soap Co. and they were in business here under that name through 1963.

In 1921 the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 20 September 1921, pg. 19, included in new borough corporations: "Kranich Chemical Company, Inc., formed to make soaps, chemicals, etc. Capital, $20,000. Directors are Augustus Kranich and Herbert Kranich, 115 9th st., Brooklyn, and J. G. Turnbull, Manhattan."

In 1922 Kranich Chemical celebrated its first anniversary, as described in The American Perfumer, vol. XVII, no. 7, September, 1922, pg. 317, "Kranich Chemical Co., 115 Ninth street, Brooklyn, N. Y., will celebrate its first anniversary next month. The company was organized by Herbert Kranich with Augustus Kranich, his father, as president and Arthur Kranich, his uncle, as secretary. Herbert Kranich is treasurer. He was graduated from Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, in 1920 after having specialized in chemistry. ..."

In 1923 "Friends of Herbert Kranich, treasurer of the Kranich Chemical Co., of Brooklyn, N. Y., will be glad to learn of his marriage on February 15 to Miss Helen Lange, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Lange of Brooklyn. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. J. C. Stevenson, rector of St. Jules Church, and was attended only by immediate members of the family. Augustus Kranich, father of the bridegroom acted as best man, and Henry Lange, father of the bride, gave his daughter in marriage. ... Mr. Kranich was graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute in 1920 after having specialized in chemistry. During the war he served as Second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Department in the Philadelphia Army Munitions Headquarters. He has been affiliated with the Western Electric Co. and Kirkman & Sons and about a year and a half ago, he founded the company which bears his name, with his father, Augustus Kranich as president and his uncle, Arthur Kranich as secretary" (The American Perfumer, vol. XVII, no. 12, February 1923, pg. 550).

This ad from 1922 listed Kranich Chemical soap specialties, including liquid shampoo, shaving cream and automobile soap.

This ad also from 1922 emphasized Kranich Chemical's Liquid Shampoo, consisting of "45% Silver King, Pine Tar, Quinine, Opal Olive."

Founders of Kranich Chemical Co. were Herbert Kranich (1894-1975) and his father, Augustus Kranich (1870-1956). Augustus Kranich was the son of Hellmuth Kranich (1834-1902), a pianomaker and immigrant from Germany, who was a partner in the firm of Kranich & Bach, established New York City 1868.

Augustus Kranich appears in the 1905 New York State Census, age 35, with son Herbert, 10, living on Riverside Drive in Manhattan, and in the 1910 U. S. Census, age 40, with son Herbert, now 15, living at 556 Fourth Street, Brooklyn. Then in 1920 his wife, Julia Kranich, a "widow," lived at 319 Lincoln Road, Brooklyn, with her son Herbert, 22, "chemist, soap company." (The widow designation seems to have been a censustaker's error.) When Herbert Kranich's mother, Julia Barbara Kranich (1874-1949), died in 1949, she was the "beloved wife of Augustus."

Herbert Kranich registered for the World War I draft in 1917 when he was 22 years old and employed as a research chemist at the Albany Lubricating Co., 708 Washington St., New York City. In the 1942 draft registration he was 47 years old and employed at Kranich Soap Co., 54 Richards St., Brooklyn, NY.

Herbert Kranich's uncle, Arthur George Kranich (1881-1932), was also a founding member of Kranich Chemical.

Herbert Kranich's son, Herbert Kranich Jr. (1926-1991), was a later officer at Kranich Soap Co.

The Kranichs have a mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY (click for image). Augustus Kranich and Julia B. Kranich are represented by a small marker to the right of the mausoleum (click for image). Among others, Hellmuth Kranich (1834-1902), Augustus Kranich (1870-1956), Julia B. Kranich (1874-1949), and Arthur Kranich (1881-1932) are listed at Find-A-Grave.

Copyright © 2017 Walter Grutchfield