1947 to 1956: The early days

In the post-war period, Alfred Talke Sr, a Silesian carpenter, lays the foundations for the transport company TALKE in Hürth. Specializing in the transport of coal for the chemical industry, the company successfully overcomes the challenges of the post-war period. In the course of technological developments in the chemical industry, TALKE adapts and develops into a key partner in chemical logistics.

Every journey begins with the first step - or in our case, with the first truck. After the end of the Second World War, the Allies decide to help Germany get back on its feet economically. In the Rhineland, the chemical industry, traditionally rooted here, benefited from this step. Alfred Talke Sr., a Silesian carpenter who was 32 years old at the time, recognized this in 1947. He founded the transport company named after him in Hürth.

The main cargo is initially lignite, which is needed in large quantities as an energy source for production in the chemical industry. Alfred Talke Sr. transports it around the clock, seven days a week. He is actively supported by his wife Marga. TALKE has therefore been a family business from day one.


1950: TALKE acquires many of the first trucks from the military government

In the challenging post-war years, Alfred Talke Sr. secures important vehicles for TALKE through clever negotiations. In 1950 he buys a truck trailer, followed by a Büssing truck in 1951 - both milestones for the young company in a time of scarce resources.

Progress and growth with the chemical industry

However, the growth of the still young company soon threatens to be thwarted by the numerous challenges of the post-war years. Transport vehicles are in short supply and are needed everywhere. With great negotiating skills, Alfred Talke Sr. was promised the purchase of a T2 10146 truck trailer on July 21, 1950. The seller was the current military government, and payment was made by bank transfer to the government treasury. A year later, a Büssing truck joins the TALKE fleet via the same source.

But it is not only TALKE that celebrates important successes during this time. Synthetic fibers made of polyacrylonitrile are produced for the first time. The fiber is used to make carpets, curtains, garden umbrella covers and sports, leisure and work clothing, among other things. A new type of flexible polyurethane foam can be used for sponges, mattresses, filter material and many other purposes. In 1949, chemist Fritz Stastny at BASF also discovered a process for foaming polystyrene by chance - the material of the century, Styropor, was born.


1952: Alfred Talke develops the first own truck for the safe transportation of liquid chemicals

In doing so, he creates a new standard. Until the early 1960s, the majority of the vehicles used were developed and manufactured in-house.

TALKE becomes an industry partner for chemical logistics

With the technological breakthroughs in the chemical industry, the demands on transporters are increasing. Large quantities of liquid chemicals are used for the mass production of various materials. Alfred Talke rises to the challenge. He develops the first truck of his own for their safe transportation - creating a new standard. The fleet subsequently grows to five trucks and five trailers. Until the early 1960s, the majority of the vehicles used were developed and manufactured by TALKE itself. As early as 1953, TALKE as a whole grew beyond the boundaries of its headquarters in Hürth: the first branch office was opened in Düsseldorf.

1953: The first subsidiary is opened in Dusseldorf

Meanwhile, the vehicle fleet continues to grow. Until the early 1960s, TALKE developed the majority of the vehicles and trailers it used itself.

However, the optimal support of his customers in the chemical and petrochemical industry is just as strongly linked to the inventive spirit of Alfred Talke Sr. On July 26, 1956, he was granted patent number 1 057 970 for a "vehicle with a container set down on a flat loading surface for transporting dusty substances or the like". This somewhat unwieldy formulation conceals nothing less than what is probably the first flexitank: the vehicle designed for the transportation of solids can be converted for the transportation of liquid chemicals with the aid of a rubber bladder.


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