Heinrich Koppers

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Heinrich Koppers.jpg

Heinrich Koppers (November 23, 1872 – September 5, 1941) was a German engineer. Having previously worked at other German companies, he founded his own company Heinrich Koppers AG in 1901 to successfully exploit the patents he had been granted in the area of coke oven design. The headquarters of Heinrich Koppers AG were in Essen - Moltkeviertel, adjacent to the mansion of the Koppers family (both buildings built in 1911).

former headquarters of Heinrich Koppers AG; enlarge image to read inscription above front door; picture of 2009
Villa Koppers: former residence of the Heinrich Koppers family; picture of 2009

In 1974 Heinrich Koppers AG was acquired by Krupp AG, and was later merged into Uhde GmbH, a division of the ThyssenKrupp conglomerate.

From 1907 Koppers worked in the USA for some time, and in 1912 founded Koppers Inc in Chicago, Illinois, an industrial organization now based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

Heinrich Koppers developed a new type of coke oven that economically recovered the byproduct chemicals of the coking process. The design of these ovens was superior to other ovens, and from 1904 his company flourished. American steel producers brought Koppers to the United States and he built his first ovens in 1907 in Joliet, Illinois.

In March, 1912, he founded H. Koppers Company in Chicago, Illinois. In 1914, Koppers sold the patents for his by-product coke ovens to industrialist Andrew Mellon for $300,000, and the Koppers Company, founded in Illinois, was reorganized with main offices in Pittsburgh, establishing a research department at the Mellon Institute.

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