1908 Strasbourg, France:
In 1908, Charles Geisen founded the “Alsatian Emulsion Factory”, the forerunner of SOPREMA. He was originally a Latin teacher, but was also very interested in new technologies and decided to join forces with a chemist to exploit various patents, particularly those related to bitumen.
During this period, architects were designing large terraces for private villas. Natural asphalt or coal tar was being used as a roofing material. These products were very expensive and not very reliable.
Charles Geisen’s stroke of genius came when he began dipping jute cloth into hot bitumen. The result was a light weight, solid, strong sheeting which has been acknowledged by many to be the first waterproofing membrane of modern times.
1909 Strasbourg, France:
After his initial discovery that jute cloth dipped in hot bitumen created an easy to install, flexible, waterproofing solution, he named his product the MAMMOUTH membrane, French for “Mammoth”. He also created a loyal customer base by starting the forerunner of the SOPREMA Contracting Division, a group of well trained, experienced installers that are still in existence today.
1914 Zurich, Switzerland:
The First World War forced the company to move to Switzerland. A name change coincided with the move. The company was now called “Asphalt Emulsion Zurich”.
1918 Strasbourg, France:
At the end of World War One, the Alsace Region of France was returned to French control allowing the company to resume its operations in Strasbourg.
1933 Strasbourg, France:
Pierre Geisen, an engineering graduate and son of the founder, took over management of the company. He improved the MAMMOUTH membrane by adding a layer of thin aluminum foil to protect the bitumen from temperature variations, weathering and ultraviolet rays, thus extending the membranes life span. MAMMOUTH ALU was born and met with the same success as the original MAMMOUTH membrane created some twenty-four years before. MAMMOUTH ALU is still in production today.
1941 Avignon, France:
World War Two forced the company to once again move, this time to Avignon, France. In this “free zone” Pierre Geisen opened a new plant named SOciete des PRoduits et Revetements d’Etancheite MAmmouth (Society of Waterproofing Products and Coatings Mammoth). Hence, SOPREMA was born.
1962 Louviers, France:
Post-war reconstruction and urban development in Paris provided SOPREMA with new expansion opportunities. This required the construction of a new plant in close proximity to the Paris market. The accessibility of bitumen produced by Normandy refineries allowed SOPREMA to grow even faster.
1972 Strasbourg, France:
SOPREMA produces the first rolls of the innovative Elastophene brand of SBS modified bitumen membranes.
1975 Strasbourg, France:
SOPREMA’s state-of-the-art research laboratory developed SOPRALENE, the first line of SBS elastomeric bitumen membranes reinforced with polyester fleece. The polyester fleece reinforcement allowed the product to become even tougher, yet more flexible. SOPRALENE and later SOPRALENE FLAM, the torch-on version of the membrane, soon met with success both in France and abroad. The growth of worldwide exports required the development of additional subsidiaries in Europe as well as North America.
1976 Quebec, Canada:
SOPREMA CANADA was created with headquarters in Quebec.
1984 Drummondville, Quebec, Canada:
As Canadian sales increase, a new manufacturing operation is built in Quebec.
1992 Strasbourg, France:
Pierre-Etienne Bindschedler, the grandson of Pierre Geisen, takes over management of the company.
1993 Wadsworth, Ohio, USA:
SOPREMA opens its sixth manufacturing plant, and first in the United States, to capitalize on U.S. market opportunities.
1997 Strasbourg, France:
SOPREMA launches a new line of liquid waterproofing products names ALSAN. The ALSAN liquid waterproofing product line has continued to grow and offers a cost effective, load bearing, high performance seamless waterproofing solution.
2000 Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada:
SOPREMA opens its second manufacturing plant in Canada to serve the Pacific Coast region.
2007 Gulfport, Mississippi, USA:
SOPREMA opens its second plant in the United States to continue to provide the U.S. market with quality waterproofing products.