Charles Louis Fleischmann

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Charles Louis Fleischmann (November 3, 1835 – December 10, 1897) was a Hungarian-American manufacturer of yeast who founded Fleischmann Yeast Company.

Charles Louis Fleischmann
Charles Fleischmann 001.jpg
Charles Fleischmann
Born(1835-11-03)November 3, 1835
DiedDecember 10, 1897(1897-12-10) (aged 62)
Known forFleischmann Yeast Company
Spouse(s)Henriette Robertson
ChildrenJulius Fleischmann, Max Fleischmann, Bettie Fleischmann Holmes
Parent(s)Abraham (distiller) and Babette Fleischmann[1]

In the late 1860s, he and his brother Maximilian created America’s first commercially produced yeast, which revolutionized baking in a way that made today’s mass production and consumption of bread possible.

Life and workEdit

A native of Jägerndorf (Czech: Krnov), Moravian Silesia, Charles Fleischmann was the son of Alois (or Abraham) Fleischmann, a Jewish distiller and yeast maker, and Babette.[1] He was educated in Budapest, Hungary, Vienna and Prague. He was Hungarian and spoke Magyar, and married Russian girl Henriette Robertson in New York.[2] He then managed a distillery in Vienna, where he produced spirits and yeast. In 1865, Fleischmann came to the United States, and was disappointed in the quality of locally baked bread in the Cincinnati, Ohio region. The brothers, along with another business partner named James Gaff, founded what became the Fleischmann Yeast Company in Riverside, Cincinnati, in 1868.[3]

In 1876, they exhibited a Model Vienna Bakery at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, which brought international publicity and sales exposure to the fledgling company, and yeast sales dramatically increased. Eventually, Fleischmann would own 14 manufacturing facilities.[4] Charles's son Max commuted to New York headquarters from his home in Santa Barbara, California by private railcar.[5]

The company still exists today as a St. Louis-based producer of yeast and other products. The Fleischmann Yeast Company eventually became the world's leading yeast producer and the second largest in the production of vinegar. It was also a commercial producer of gin, under the Fleischmann brand name. When Prohibition interfered with liquor sales, the Fleischmanns developed a new market for yeast, investigating its possible health benefits for skin and digestion, and promoting it as a good source of vitamins. They hired the J. Walter Thompson Company, who created a health food fad for yeast cakes.[6]

Charles Fleischmann is responsible for numerous mechanical patents involving yeast production machinery. He helped to organize the Market National Bank and became its president from 1887 until his death in 1897. He was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in a mausoleum based on the Parthenon.[7] His son, Julius Fleischmann, later served as the mayor of Cincinnati.


Charles Fleischmann was inducted into the American Society of Baking’s Baking Hall of Fame on March 3, 2008, at the Society’s annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois.

Fleischmann's great great granddaughter Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos, a failed and fraudulent blood testing Silicon Valley startup.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Hamburger, Susan (2000). "Fleischmann, Charles Louis : American National Biography Online - oi". doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1000563. Retrieved Jul 19, 2019.
  2. ^ "montecito journal – Vol 2 Issue 2 : MOGULS & MANSIONS : MAJOR MAX C. FLEISCHMANN". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  3. ^ Klieger, P. Christiaan. The Fleischmann Yeast Family. Chicago: Arcadia Books. 2004
  4. ^ "Morgan Mergers". Time. 1929. Retrieved 2008-08-04. But also announced last week was a Morgan-managed merger of Fleischmann Co., Royal Baking Powder Co., and E. W. Gillett, Ltd.... No transportation problem existed in 1868 when Charles and Maximilian Fleischmann, immigrants from Austria-Hungary, and James Gaff of Cincinnati, founded Gaff, Fleischmann & Co. at Riverside, Ohio. Their first great forward step was made in 1876 when they exhibited a Model Vienna Bakery at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. From the fame of this exhibit came an increased demand for Fleischmann's yeast. Soon there was a Fleischmann plant on Long Island, then another at Peekskill, N. Y, Guiding spirit of the early Fleischmann company was Charles Fleischmann, who died in 1897. It was under the leadership (1897-1925) of the late Julius Fleischmann that the company went through its major expansion period. Following his death, his brother, Major Max C. Fleischmann, stepped to the front.
  5. ^ Klieger, Ibid
  6. ^ Price C (Fall 2015). "The healing power of compressed yeast". Distillations Magazine. 1 (3): 17–23. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  7. ^ Rolfes, Steven (Oct 29, 2012). Cincinnati Landmarks. Arcadia Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 9780738593951. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  8. ^ What family businesses can learn from Theranos Retrieved September 17, 2019

External linksEdit