When Romke Jacobus Houtstra started his adhesives factory the NKI (National Adhesives Industry)on the 1st of July, 1935 at the Marnixstraat - Rotterdam, this for him so important news did not reach the Dutch newspapers. Instead as often in those days, the paper was filled with news about company closures and bankruptcies. And yes it was precisely the economic crisis, which motivated Houtstra to enter the adhesive bussiness. After loosing due to this crisis a promising career at aswel as a shipowning company as a adhesives and stationery factory, it was at this last employer that his interest was awaken in glue and his entrepreneurial spirit was sparked. On the 1st of July, 1935 the day was finally there; Romke Houtstra was his own boss! It was at a time when the banks painstakingly hand held on their purse, a bold undertaking. With an initial capital of two thousand guilders and caring of four sons together with his wife Maaike, it lacked the self employer clearly not of courage. A rare combination of qualities such as determination, hard work, vision and trust was the key to success. Less than two years after its foundation, the available space was not enough and the NKI moved to a new factory at the Hoofdweg 400 in Hillegersberg. After the outbreak of the Second World War a second move to a location with rail connection at Honselersdijk was necessary. Herewith was the transport threatened by the fuel shortage, provisionally secured and as off 1943 on special permit, occasionally food packers were supplied. After the war Houtstra actually had to start over again, but this time he was not alone. Gradually his five sons joined the company. Aad and Romke were the firsts and went into sales. Around 1950 Koos and Jan followed, respectively Koos taking care of the export department and Jan the sales of adhesive glue processing machines. Soon father Houtstra was short of sons and "strangers" were introduced. Director Piet van der Ende had been there since 1939, but in the 50s especially Henk Hoevens, Henk Helleman, and Bob Baetens (Belgium) would also determine the face of the company.
Beneath you can find a picture overview of this history period, you can enlarge te pictures by clicking on them.