Faturan History

Originally, Faturan was a brand of cast thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, similar to Bakelite, manufactured by Traun & Son of Hamburg.[1][2] Faturan was the invention of Traun & Son, many link Friedrich Adolf “Fritz” Traun as the inventer of Faturan however Traun’s short and somewhat eventful life does not seem to leave much time for materials invention. More so perhaps as the chemistry and production of phenolic resin was not demonstrated commercially until Baekeland’s patents of 1907. It seems unlikely that his PhD work dealt with phenolics, predating as it would Baekeland by a decade, or the time he spent at the Sorbonne. There is no documented French interest in phenolics at this date. The one year he spent in his father’s company he presumably spent dealing with rubber. So how did Traun become associated with Faturan? So it could be that, nearly a decade after Friedrich Traun’s scandalous and untimely death, the Traun & Son Company purchased a license from Bakelite Gesellschaft to manufacture phenolic resin moulding powders in their Hamburg factory. Needing a trade name for their product they, perhaps, decided to remember Friedrich by making an anagram of his name. FATuran. The company must have produced solid cast resin in rod and slab form to be used for electrical insulation, and this material made its way to the Middle Eastern bead makers. Developed in the early 20th century, and up untill the 1940s.

On a privite note Friedrich Traun could not have been the inventer as in 1902, after a visit to America, Traun fell ill with tuberculosis and spent the following years at health spas in the Alps. During this time he worked as a sports journalist and director of the German Tennis Championships. He married Friedel Preetorius, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur in 1907 and lived with her at the exclusive Park Hotel Teufelsbrucke in Hamburg. In July 1908 a woman entered the hotel and asked to speak to Traun. She claimed he was a bigamist as he was already married to her, and that they had children. After this conversation Traun went back to his hotel suite bathroom, locked the door and shot himself. The woman was never traced. The only link Friedrich Traun has to Faturan is that it was named after him by his fathers company.

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