Multiple chemical companies of international reputation have their roots in the Perlon-Labor area. A piece of Berlin’s industrial history of more than 150 years. In 1867 the Gesellschaft für Anilinfabrikation mbH is founded north of the Rummelsburger Bucht. The two chemists Carl Alexander Martius and Paul Mendelssohn Bartholdy, son of the composer, start developping colours for the textile and letterpress industry. Still today the so-called Bismarck-brown created at the time is used in the dyeing of textiles. Just shortly after its founding the company merges with other Berlin-based chemical plants.
Rapidly growing to become the largest factory of synthetic colour production throughout Northern Germany, the „AG für Anilinfabrikation“ IPO follows in 1873 that lays the foundation of the world-famous brand Agfa. From the edge of the city Agfa taps the global market producing film rolls. Despite the creation of innovative products the high level of air pollution of the industrialisation forces the company to outsource its sensitive production line. While Agfa expands the main factory in Wolfen, it discontinues producing both colours and film rolls after World War I. Instead the two scientists succeed in creating a textile that first saves the lives of fighter pilots, in the form of parachutes, in World War II and soon covers the women’s legs of a whole nation: Perlon. The acetate factory, founded in 1925 and daughter of the worldwide biggest chemical concern I.G. Farben, produces the synthetic fibre of parachutes, followed by fashion, engineering and household goods. After 1951 it is named VEB Kunststoffwerk Aceta.