SOUTH WHITLEY — Many agree that South Whitley was a fascinating place to live in the 1930s and 40s. Many unique businesses were in town or getting their start.
One of South Whitley’s businesses that began in South Whitley was the Carrot Factory. While carrots were not manufactured there, carrots, almost 30 tons of them at one point, were processed to extract carotene and Vitamin A.
Dr. Albert F.O. Germann, II, son of the founder of Nutritional Research, operated the plant with his father. German will join the South Whitley Community Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, for this local history program, focusing on the Carrot Factory. Attendees will talk about how two chemists who had lived and worked all over the country came to start this business in South Whitley, as well as the goals and operation of the business, and the role it played in South Whitley.
Author George Fleck has detailed the lives of two brothers, Drs. Frank and Albert Germann in the book Parallel Lives, available at South Whitley Community Public Library. Fleck’s work covers the history of both men, who were professors and researchers, including what they studied, their academic and career stops, the people who influenced them and the challenges of the time in which they lived.
Frank Germann, at one point, studied with Madame Marie Curie, and Albert Germann was the founder of South Whitley’s Nutritional Research, Inc., locally known as the Carrot Factory. Both brothers were well respected among the professional chemistry organizations to which they belonged. In addition to the Germanns’ lives, Fleck’s work also takes an in-depth look at Dr. Albert Germann’s contemporaries in South Whitley — men whose lives have left a lasting mark on the community, such as Robert Hicks, the Kaadt brothers, Hugo Fox and Hubert Stump — among others. It’s an interesting read for anyone interested in local history.