Henrik J. Krebs

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[1]Henrik Johannes Krebs (June 27, 1847 - October 7, 1929), sometimes called Henry J. Krebs, was an immigrant from Denmark who started the Krebs Pigments and Chemical Company to manufacture the pigment lithopone.[2][3][4]


Krebs was born in June 27, 1847 in Lolland in Denmark, to Hans Peter Tholstrup Krebs and Johanne Louise (Wichfled) Krebs.[2][5][6] He emigrated to the United States in 1879.[7] He soon became the superintendent of the Delaware Sugar Beet Factory, associated with Alfred D. Wagner.[8] Krebs later joined Pusey & Jones Co. and built the first ice plant in Wilmington, Delaware.[9]

In 1886, Krebs, Wagner, and William G. Pennypacker founded the Delaware Chemical Company to produce anhydrous ammonia, which later became the National Ammonia Company.[9]

Around 1902, he formed the Krebs Pigments and Chemical Company. In 1908, he built a new plant in Newport, Delaware.[2][10]

Krebs retired from Krebs Pigments and Chemical Company in 1921, when his son August Sonin Krebs took over as president.[11]

In 1926, Krebs supplied $150,000 to Newport, Delaware for the construction of a school to be named after him, on the occasion of his 50th wedding anniversary[12][13] The school opened in September 1927.[14]

For services to the Royal Polytechnic College in Copenhagen, the King of Denmark named Krebs a Knight in the Order of the Dannebrog.[9]

Krebs died on October 7, 1929 after a long illness.[2][7][9] After his death, his company was purchased by DuPont.[2][11]


On June 24, 1876, he married Ebba Victoria Kruse. As his death, he was survived by his wife and two children, August Sonnin, and Johanna Louise.[9]


  1. ^ family tree, citation of descendant charlotte stuart
  2. ^ a b c d e "Joseph Tatnall House" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-10-25. Henrik J. Krebs died October 7, 1929, aged 82 ... 
  3. ^ John A. Munroe. History of Delaware. p. 188. The latter company was founded in Delaware by a Danish immigrant, Henrik J. Krebs. Its factories at Newport and Edge Moor are now (1978) the only Du Pont ... 
  4. ^ "E. I. DuPont De Nemours Site". Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2011-10-24. From 1902 to 1929, Henrik Krebs built the plant and used it to manufacture a white zinc and barium-based pigment called Lithopone. 
  5. ^ Whites, James Terry. The National cyclopaedia of American biography, p. 14-15 (1967)
  6. ^ "Henry J. Krebs passport application from June 26, 1913". United States Department of State. Name: Henry J. Krebs. Birth: 27 June 1847 - Denmark. Date: 26 June 1913. Residence: Wilmington, Delaware 
  7. ^ a b Chemical & metallurgical engineering, Volume 36, p. 639 (1929)
  8. ^ Superintendents of Beet Sugar Factories, The Sugar Beet, p. 11 (February 1881)
  9. ^ a b c d e (8 October 1929). H.J. Krebs, Engineer, Dies at the Age of 82; Founder of Chemical Concern That Became the National Ammonia Company, The New York Times
  10. ^ "Newport, Delaware". Newport, Delaware. Retrieved 2011-10-24. Newport participated in the State’s burgeoning chemical industry when, in 1908, Henrik J. Krebs built a chemical and pigment plant along Christiana Creek. 
  11. ^ a b (13 October 1929). Obitiary - Krebs, Delmarvia Star
  12. ^ Robert J. Taggart. Private philanthropy and public education. p. 209. Retrieved 2011-10-24. Also, industrialist Henrik J. Krebs provided a substantial gift of $150000 to construct the eight- classroom school in Newport named after him. ... 
  13. ^ HJ Krebs to Build Public School In commemoration of his fiftieth wedding anniversary, The American-Scandinavian review (Volume 14, 1926)
  14. ^ (4 September 1927). New H.J. Krebs School To Open on Tuesday, Sunday Morning Star