The Early Years

1867: AGFA, it all began with color

Looking at the high-tech products and solutions delivered by Agfa today, it is hard to believe that it all began way back in the 19th century. But it did. In 1867, a color dye factory was established at the Rummelsburger See near Berlin. In 1873, it was registered as the 'Aktien-Gesellschaft für Anilin-Fabrikation', AGFA.

Lieven Gevaert (1868 - 1935), founder of the Gevaert company

1894: The birth of 'L. Gevaert & Cie'

In 1890, the 22-year-old Lieven Gevaert established his own workshop in Antwerp (Belgium), which was mainly used for manufacturing calcium paper for photography. Barely four years later, the businessman Armand Seghers helped to establish the limited stock company 'L. Gevaert & Cie'. The starting capital amounted to just 20,000 Belgian francs (500 Euro).

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1895: The first subsidiary abroad

L. Gevaert & Cie barely had time to celebrate its first anniversary before announcing the establishment of its first subsidiary abroad. The take-over of the Parisian company 'Blue Star Papers' introduced a new gelatine paper. This new subsidiary further enhanced the success of Gevaert's paper line.


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1904: The Gevaert business flourishes at the beginning of the new century

Business was booming and the buildings were becoming too small. The factory moved from Antwerp to Mortsel. These premises are still in use today, although the buildings have been substantially extended and modernized. The company's success was shared with the employees, since they were allowed to participate in the company profits. This initiative established Lieven Gevaert as one of the pioneers of employee participation.