Lang Tanning Company, Ltd.

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Lang Tanning Company, Ltd.

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The founder of The Lang Tanning Company Limited, Reinhold Lang, came to Berlin (now Kitchener) from a small village in the German Rhineland with his eldest son George, and established a small tannery in 1849. The tannery was located on Foundry (now Ontario) Street in Berlin, and was moved to an area between Wilmot (now Victoria) and Francis Streets after fire destroyed the original plant. This area was chosen because there was a natural spring there that could be used as water supply for the tannery. The Lang Tanning Company then went on to become the largest sole leather producer in the British Empire, and Reinhold Lang, who was also a member of the Berlin Council in 1859, became a prominent local citizen. During the First World War, Lang Tanning produced huge amounts of saddle material, and in the Second World War it supplied sole leather and leather linings for aircraft gasoline tanks. The company discontinued operations as a tannery in 1954 due to competition from synthetic materials, but kept its five-acre downtown site and complex of 35 buildings until 1974, when the property was sold to Ball Brothers Limited (a Kitchener contracting firm). In 1954, at the time that the Lang Tanning Company ceased operations, Jerome Lang was president, and Reinhold (Bun) Lang was Chairman of the Board. In 1974, at which time the President of the company was Reinhold (Bun) Lang, the company held a final meeting where they wound up business: the payment of bills, the disposition of assets, and the surrender of the 1917 charter to the Federal Government.


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