1868 / In-house Research
BASF employs chemists from the very beginning. Yet, they are entrusted with operational functions. Three years after its foundation, BASF appoints Heinrich Caro (1834-1910) as its first head of research. It thereby lays the foundation for innovative in-house research. First results do not take long: Among other innovations, in cooperation with Berlin-based professors Carl Graebe and Carl Liebermann, Caro succeeds in synthesizing the first natural dye in 1869. Alizarin is the synthetic variant of the red dye derived from the root of the madder plant. It becomes BASF's first global sales hit.