The drive to embrace new challenges leads Joseph Maria Huber, the company’s founder, to New York City from Munich, Germany, in 1883.
Joseph arrives in America to develop new markets for the Michael Huber München Farbenfabriken, the family’s dry color business, which traces its origins to 1780. Once in the U.S., Joseph sees the tremendous growth potential for inks. He leaves the Munich-based company in 1890 and opens his first dry color plant in Brooklyn, New York, in 1891.
After a fire destroys the original plant in 1914, Joseph turns adversity into opportunity. He opens a new plant in Brooklyn and in 1916 begins construction on a new high-speed ink plant in Bayonne, New Jersey, to meet the increasing demand for black news ink. In 1920, Huber builds a plant in Swartz, Louisiana, to produce an essential raw material for ink—carbon black.
In the mid-1920s, Joseph’s sons, Walter Huber and Hans Huber, take on leadership roles in the company. Walter becomes responsible for dry colors and ink; Hans heads up carbon black. Hans launches a related business: the development of natural gas reserves, which are used in the production of carbon black.
During this same time, Joseph Maria Huber enters the kaolin clay business in South Carolina. Once again, this is a natural extension of Huber’s business, as kaolin is a key product for the paper industry.
Here are some other highlights from Huber’s history: