The following paragraph is not only interesting for friends and acquaintances, it also attempts to reflect some of the history of the last hundred years. In October 1897 the company Carl Jäger was founded by Carl Jäger in Crottendorf/ Erzgebirge. He comes from an ancient linage. Its ancestors can be traced to the time of the Reformation in a town called Scheibenberg in Erzgebirge. His parents ran a hotel, restaurant and carting business. This hotel, the “Sächsischer Hof”, is still placed in the marketplace of Scheibenberg today. Very early he discovered an inclination towards alchemy, drugs and allied sciences. These inclinations influenced his professional career.
After school he learned the trade of Pharmacy-provider in the pharmacy Kunze in Buchholz/ Erzgebirge. The director of the School of Trades certified that the seventeen years old boy had been to that school from eastern 1888 to Michaelis and that he was a hard-working and successful pupil.
After his apprenticeship he worked in various towns in Sachsen and Thüringen. During this time he gathered extensive knowledge, which was very useful for his later independent career. After he proved ability to work independently, he finally took over the pharmacy in Scheibenberg and settled there. He married a woman, who was not only attractive, but also “fit into the business”.
In 1897 he bought a house in Crottendorf/ Erzgebirge. There he bounded a pharmacy which included a laboratory. As it was commonplace at that time, many everyday-wares were produced on the premises. He learned the making of incense cones during his time in the pharmacy of Buchholz. It is important to note, that incense cones were a speciality in the Erzgebirge.
Even in this time there was a big demand for incense cones. Tradesmen from Böhmen and fairs had a positive influence on the commerce with incense cones, and not only in the Erzgebirge. The demand for incense cones increased in such a way , that it was no longer possible to produce them by hand. The founder and some clever technicions had to develop a machine, which was able to produce cones in large quantities. With the help of this machine the store was able to steadily increase production to an industrial level. The turn of the century was the time of many technical inventions – Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen found out about the X – rays, Marconi invented wireless Telegraphy. Dewar made hydrogen liquid – to mention just a few.
The production of our goods also became more and more sophisticated. During that time the first world war began and Carl Jäger was finally conscripted and sent to Flanders. But he was lucky and survived the war. The “Weimarer Republik” lead to the fateful Nazi period and the second world war caused the firm to close down. The premises were ordered to be converted into Miner`s accommodation and the fittings and equipment slowly disappeared.
Helmuth Jäger followed in his father`s footsteps and learned a trade at the pharmacy Fuchs in Gotha. After his captivity as prisoner of war he established the company anew in 1948 in Hilden/ Rheinland, West Germany. As a typical pioneer of his generation, that boosted the economy new, he created the basis for our present existence. To appreciate his performance, one would have to write a laudatio, which would break the bounds of this text.
As he was very successful with his work, a decision was made to rebuild the company “Carl Jäger” in Höchst/ Odenwald for the third time. At that time nobody thought about German reunification. Because of the similarity of the Odenwald and the Erzgebirge, one decided to move to Höchst. Business premises and a house were built in a generous way, that had always been striven for.
The third generation, the current owner, Bernd Jäger, grew up with the smell of incense cones. Still a student he decided to become successor to his father and served an apprenticeship, that lead him to his present work. Travelling and gathering knowledge all over the world, but above all in countries of the middle and far east, where the origins and roots of incense lay, became possible. New knowledge will always help to enhance the production and expand the line of goods – today and in times to come.
Ilona Jäger-Schimpf is now in the 4th generation business owner since 2014 after her father passed away in 2013 following a brief but serious illness.