Sofia Hansen

Born in 1992 in Perstorp, Sweden
Sofia finished her bachelor degree in history and is going to do her master degree in history next year. (Last updated 2013)

"The founder of the Scanian Acetic Acid Factory - Wilhelm Wendt. A local hero of Perstorp?" (2009/ 2010)

This paper documents the story of a local hero, Wilhelm Wendt, the founder of the Scanian Acetic Acid Factory by following the time when he was in charge of his company (1881- 1924) in Perstorp. The place where Wendt decided to start his business was a small village in southern Sweden, with 800 inhabitants in the 19th century, but laying close to a vast beech forest, which would provide the raw material for the factory. Products would be easily sold during war times (Ruso- Japanese War; World War Two), while scoring rather badly during peace time, when economy was a bit lower. Also strikes were quite often at the Scanian Acetic Acid factory because of lower wages and poor  working conditions. To keep the business going threats and lockouts were employed and even Wilhelm Wendt himself went once inside the factory to make up for the missing work force. This in fact cost him his life as the next day he died from coal gas poisoning. Despite not being a very popular person during his life time, Wilhelm Wendt is considered now something of a local hero. By starting up the company he created lots of work places and because of that the town grew in population and size and became known to the world for its acetic acid factory.

Sofia Hansen won first prize in the national Swedish competition. The topic was “Local Heroes”.

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