Lodewijk Theo Adriaan (‘Louis’) van der Grinten (1831-1895)
The pharmacist Lodewijk van der Grinten is more a social person than a businessman. He likes being seen in social life.
Like his descendants later, Lodewijk distinguishes himself as an inventive scientist. He is active in improving tap water and designs a device for filtering contaminated water, that is being tested in Amsterdam. Although this invention pays him a lot of credit, it does not bring him much prosperity.
The chemical background of Louis shows when in 1871 he starts an investigation into the production of butter coloring, a substance that is used to color both butter and margarine. In 1877, Louis succeeded in setting up a large-scale production line for this product. That fact marks the start of a success story.
Elisabeth Francisca Anna Hubertina (‘Lieske’) Muijsers (1834-1910)
Lieske Muijsers, daughter of a large farming family in North Limburg. She married Lodewijk van der Grinten in 1862 and they had ten children.
Reportedly, it was she who advised Louis to produce butter coloring for the industry himself, thereby initiating the later company.
The third generation
The children of Frans van der Grinten resemble their father. The first, second and fifth sons, Louis, Piet and Karel, respectively, continue their father’s company. Together they lay the foundation for expansion, which ultimately leads to the international character of the current Océ group. And how little they may resemble each other: as a three-person board, they always know how to work closely together and to come out as a unit.
Lodewijk Pieter Frans (‘Louis’) van der Grinten (1894-1981)
The oldest son of Frans is Louis. He also inherited the chemical genes of the family and the inventive nature of his father. In 1926 he applied for a patent in the field of the semi-dry diazotype: a new copying system. Ongoing chemical developments lead to the foundation of NV Chemical factory L. van der Grinten in 1928. From the marriage of Louis with Eugénie Schrijven four sons are born.
Louis van der Grinten introduced the copying activities in the company.
Pieter Antoon Willem (‘Piet’) van der Grinten (1895-1977)
The second son of Frans is Piet. He entered the company in 1922. As a confidant of his father, he soon got great responsibilities. He manages the Boterkleurselfabriek (Butter coloring Factory) (up to the age of seventy!) and is responsible for financial and administrative management. He is also involved in purchasing.
Piet is a Catholic in a somewhat special way. Distant, little dogmatic, but very law-abiding. He philosophizes a lot with a friendly catholic father. His house is a welcoming home for musicians, writers and artists. Piet is known as a man with a good sense of humor and as a sporty figure. Piet withdraws from the management of the company in 1965. He will remain a member of the Supervisory Board for a few years. He dies on January 27, 1977 at the age of 81.
Karel Jan Joseph (‘Karel’) van der Grinten (1901 – 1995)
The fifth child of Frans van der Grinten is Karel. Because foreign universities are held in high regard by his father, Karel goes to study in Zurich and Geneva.
Unlike his brothers, Karel loves to travel. His first major journey takes him to the Balkans in 1927. He later visits the Far East, Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Italy, Mexico and Uruguay, among others. He maintains business contacts everywhere and, as a result, helps build a worldwide network of licensees.
Karel van der Grinten is chairman of the board from 1964 to 1967. He was subsequently a member of the Supervisory Board until 1972.