In July 1915, Jørgen Christian Hempel became Denmark’s youngest licensed wholesaler when he established Hempel’s Marine Paints. Nearly 100 years later, Hempel is one of the largest coatings suppliers in the world.
J.C. Hempel was just 21 years old when he established Hempel Marine Paints in 1915. Despite only having DKK 300 in his pocket, business proved brisk enough for him to open his first paint mixing factory one year later.
Although rather low-tech - the factory paint mixer was an old coffee grinder - the factory was soon producing enough paint for J.C .Hempel to supply most of the ships along the quays of Copenhagen.
As J.C. Hempel’s business grew, so did his pioneering spirit. In 1917, he worked with the Danish Institute of Technology (DTI) to develop the world’s first antifouling coating for ships’ hulls. Today, Hempel leads the world in antifouling and fouling release technology, and its relationship with DTI is still strong.
The Hempel Foundation
J.C. Hempel was more than a talented businessman; he was also a visionary thinker. In 1948, he estabished the Hempel Foundation, making it the company’s sole shareholder. Today, the Foundation provides a sound economic basis for the Hempel Group, and supports cultural, humanitarian and scientific charities around the world.