The history of the KNOX brand

Our history at a glance

1846 - 20. June

Hermann Eduard Zwetz born in Blankenhain/Thuringia


Hermann Eduard Zwetz completes his training to become a pharmacist

1876 - May 16th

Hermann Eduard Zwetz and Minna Christiana Amalie Mohrstedt (a pharmacist's daughter, born 10 Jan. 1854) marry in the church of Zörbig.


Pharmacist Zwetz and his wife assume the management of the Löwen-Apotheke (Pharmacy) in Zörbig near Halle. Up to that point, the pharmacy had been managed by the pharmacist Gustav Heinrich Mohrstedt. From 1877 until 1879, Hermann Zwetz also manages the Markt-Apotheke in his home town of Auma (15 km north of Schleiz). In Auma, he receives the resident civil right on 16. Nov. 1877.

1878 - Nov. 14th

Their daughter, Else Minna Anna is born in Zörbig


Sale of the Löwen-Apotheke in Zörbig.


The address book  of the city of Schleiz registers „Vorländer and Zwetz“ under the trade classification „chemical compounds“. Acquisition of the property set to become the company's home.

1893 - March 20th

First entry in the trade register by the registration court of Schleiz (the keeping of a trade register was first started in approx. 1890 onwards).

1895 - March 1st

Member of the „Geschichts- und altertumsforschender Verein zu Schleiz“ (Society of Historical and Antique Research concerning Schleiz). In a celebratory declaration from the society dating back to 1902, a presentation by the pharmacist Zwetz on the history of pharmacy is mentioned.


In the city of Schleiz's address book, Hermann Zwetz home address (Greizer Str. 28) is registered. The company register makes mention of a „smoke agent and smouldering material factory“. Hermann Zwetz is also named as a pharmacist in the section of business and commercial tradesmen.

1919 - Dec. 24th

Karl Bayer, a pharmacist in Schleiz, becomes the company's owner

1923 - Nov. 10th

The pharmacist Hermann Zwetz dies at age 77.


In the branch register, the smoking agent factory is registered under the name of pharmacist Carl Bayer.


Elisabeth Bayer, daughter of Hermann Zwetz, is registered as the owner of the smoking agent factory in the trade register on 7 April 1949.


Mrs Bayer surrenders the company. From that time on, it functions as storage for the GHG (Wholesale Cooperative for Fruits and Vegetables) and for the KONSUM. The building slowly began to deteriorate.

1952 - May 31th

Erich Koch purchases the smoking agents factory „Apotheker Hermann Zwetz“ in Schleiz. The business re-opens in Mohorn-Grund in Niedermühle (Am Tharandter Wald 10). Packaging is still carried out in Bayer's manor in Mohorn  (demolished in 1994!).

1953 - Jan. 15th

Transcription of the commercial register at the district office of Freital.


The brand‘s name is now „KNOX“


The new factory grounds in 1961

Construction of an office and packaging barrack in Grund (present day location). Export has become an important variable.

1974 - February 15th 9:00 am

A fire almost completely destroys the production hall. The production is resumed step by step in one barrack. The remainders of the main building are roofed on a provisional basis and continue to serve as a warehouse for raw materials. Building materials were practically unavailable in the former East Germany.

1978 - Sep. 5th

Matthias Koch is registered as the owner of the company in the trade register.

1984 - Dec. 1st

After the death of Matthias Koch, Marion Koch continues the company in the old tradition.


The company survives the turbulent times surrounding the political and economic transition.


Expansion of the production halls and warehouses used to date.

1990 - 1995

Increase of productivity, among other things by introduction of new technology, in order to adjust the company to the realities of the economic market.


Construction of a new warehouse.

1997 - Jan.-Aug.

New construction of the modern production and office building.


The present day head office

Establishment of a museum with a permanent exhibit detailing the history of the „Apotheker Hermann Zwetz“ company and the tradition of incense.


Construction of a warehouse.


Modernisation and redesign of the small sales exhibition.


Extension of the museum with a handicraft room (making incense cones) in the style of the 1940/50s.


150 years of „Apotheker Hermann Zwetz“, commercial operations are privately owned completely.