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Tuesday, July 30th 2013, 3:24am

Maschinen und Armaturenfabrik Steinle und Hartung AG

The company was founded in August 1877 in Quedlinburg by engineer Otto Steinle and businessman Hermann Hartung. Originally the firm built valves, pumps and other components for the construction of locomotives. Later, steam pumps, pressure regulators, thermometers, pyrometers and lubrication apparatus were built for incorporation into locomotives and other heavy machinery. It has concentrated its efforts in this field, and has also undertaken the manufacture of steam drainage apparatus, water level indicators and other temperature controls. The firm employs more than 1,200 workers at its two facilities in Quedlinburg, and has over 250 patents in thirty countries. Eighty percent of its sales is exported to more than forty-five countries around the world.


Saturday, August 3rd 2013, 2:31am

Sartorius AG

Headquartered in Göttingen this firm is a leading supplier of fine analytical balances and scales for use in chemical and industrial laboratories. It was founded in 1870 by Florenz Sartorius to manufacture a novel, short-arm analytical balance of his own design. In 1906, the elder Sartorius took his three sons Wilhelm, Erich and Julius in partnership with him; however, in order to raise additional capital the firm was converted into a joint stock company in 1914. The majority of the shares remain in the hands of members of the Sartorius family. In 1927 the firm organised a subsidiary, Membranfiltergesellschaft, to exploit the membrane filter patents of Richard Zsigmondy and Wilhelm Bachmann. The work force comprises some three hundred engineers, chemists and skilled technical workers.


Saturday, August 3rd 2013, 6:21pm

Offenbacher Industriekessel AG

The origins of this firm lie with the boiler workshop of Philipp Loos, which was founded in 1865 in the town of Neustadt in the Palatinate. In 1879 Loos moved his operations to Offenbach am Main, where it was known as Offenbacher Dampfkesselfabrik und Eisengießerei Philipp Loos. The firm prospered, manufacturing stationary steam boilers for industrial plants, commercial laundries and breweries. Upon the death of the founder in 1882 the firm was reorganised as a joint stock company, Offenbacher Dampfkesselfabrik KG, with Theodor Loos, son of the founder, as managing director. In 1917 a branch factory was established in Gunzenhausen, Bavaria, as the Eisenwerk Theodor Loos, where boilers and boiler components were manufactured. In 1922, in an effort to overcome the financial distress occasioned by the Great War, the firm was recapitalised with assistance of the Commerzbank, and the firm adopted its current title. The plants in Offenbach and Gunzenhausen remain as producers of steam boilers and other industrial heating equipment, and in 1943 the firm patented the use of welding techniques to boiler construction in place of the traditional method of riveting.


Saturday, August 3rd 2013, 7:29pm

Braunschweigische Maschinenbauanstalt AG

Founded in 1854 by Friedrich Seele, Lorenz Schöttler and others as Friedrich Seele und Compagnie, this firm has long been in the forefront of the machine building industry, particularly in the manufacture of equipment for sugar refineries and starch processing. Under the technical leadership of Friedrich Wilhelm Schöttler the firm built a reputation for excellence across Europe. It was converted to a joint-stock company in 1870. In 1931 the firm acquired the firm of Selwig und Lange, a smaller rival, to expand its product base.

The present work of the firm includes the development, design and manufacture of machinery and apparatus for the sugar industry, distilleries and starch factories, including centrifuges, crystallizers, beet pulp presses and machines for sorting sugar beets. With the acquisition of the Selwig firm, it also obtained technology for the manufacture of powder-making and processing equipment for military applications. The most recent area of growth for the firm has been the manufacture of equipment for sugar cane processing, and towards that end it established a branch factory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It presently employs more than one thousand workers at its location in Braunschweig, and several hundred at its Brazilian works.


Saturday, August 3rd 2013, 8:12pm

Bornkessel Brenner und Glasmaschinen GmbH

This firm was founded in 1902 to undertake the manufacture of equipment for the glassmaking industry, specifically Owens automatic bottle making machines; it subsequently diversified into the manufacture of compressed air blowers, vacuum pumps and soldering tools for other branches of industry. Its factory at Mellenbach-Glasbach employs approximately five hundred workers.


Wednesday, August 7th 2013, 3:00am

Spritzmaschinenbau Leipzig AG

In 1906 there was founded in Leipzig the Anstalt für Präzisions-Mechanik Otto Heinrich, a workshop devoted to the manufacture of precision mechanical engineering. In 1906 this firm patented the first pneumatic spray gun for painting. In 1925 the workshop was absorbed by a new corporate entity, Spritzmaschinenbau Leipzig, to manufacture industrial painting and coating equipment for the emerging automotive and aeronautical industries. In 1928 the new firm introduced the rotary coating machine, in 1935 the flat-bed coating machine, in 1938 chain-driven coating machines for automobiles, in 1941 an internal coating machine for black plate cans and in 1943 an internal coating machine for collapsible tubes. In 1935 a new factory for the production of painting and coating equipment was constructed at Leipzig-Engelsdorf, where more than six hundred workers are employed constructing a wide range of automatic painting and coating equipment for commercial and industrial use.


Sunday, August 11th 2013, 1:00am

Maschinenfabrik Niehoff AG

This mid-size firm, located in Schwabach, near Nürnberg, is a leading manufacturer of wire and cable-making machines for the electrical and mechanical engineering industry. It was founded in 1859 as J.M. Bauer Maschinen zur Drahtherstellung, but was acquired in 1921 by the entrepreneur Georg Niehoff. The firm manufactures wire drawing machines, wire twisting machines, wire braiding machines, wire winding machines, cable winding machines and wire annealing equipment.


Tuesday, August 13th 2013, 5:46pm

Rechenmaschinenwerk Herzstark AG


Wednesday, August 14th 2013, 2:13pm

Schuhmacher Metallwerke AG

The antecessor of this firm was founded in 1830 as H.J. Neuß'schen Fabriketablissements, a needle-making workshop located in the city of Aachen. In 1876 this factory was acquired by entrepreneur Friedrich Wilhelm Schumacher, who moved the firm from the manufacture of needles to the manufacture of precision components for watches and clocks. In 1910 the firm was reorganised as a joint-stock company to raise the capital needed to move into the manufacture of machines for various precision engineering tasks, which has grown into the firms principal business. The firm also manufactures precision parts in steel, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals for the automotive, aviation and precision measurement industries. It presently employs five hundred workers.


Wednesday, August 14th 2013, 10:36pm

Jagenberg Werke AG

This firm was founded in 1878 by Ferdinand Emil Jagenberg, a wholesale dealer in the paper trade. In 1890 he began the manufacture of paper-making and processing machinery and built the first slitter-rewinder for producing his own rolls of paper. In 1904 the firm built a large 40,000 square metre factory on the outskirts of Krefeld where production of machinery was concentrated. In 1916 the firm was converted to a joint stock company under the current style. Its six hundred workers are engaged in the production and overhaul of winders, rollers and slitter-winders for the paper-processing industry.


Wednesday, August 14th 2013, 11:24pm

Ernst Leybold und Compagnie AG

In 1850 Martin Kothe established a wholesale distributorship in pharmaceuticals in the city of Wuppertal. The following year he was joined by Ernst Leybold and the firm traded as Leybold und Kothe until the withdrawal of the latter in 1870. Under the sole leadership of Leybold the firm turned to the production of precision measuring equipment and, in 1906, it came to specialise in the production of vacuum pumps. In collaboration with Wolfgang Gaede the firm developed and marketed the molecular air pump in 1911, and the mercury diffusion pump in 1913. Converted to a joint stock company in 1922 the firm went on to develop gas ballast devices for rotating vacuum pumps, first introduced in 1935. It is a supplier of such precision equipment to the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.


Monday, October 21st 2013, 3:34am

Paderborner Maschinenbau AG

This firm was founded in 1938 to undertake the manufacture of forklift industrial trucks under licence from the Towmotor Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. The introduction of the American-designed vehicle, featuring a short turning radius, high-speed reverse and forward speeds, a pair of forward forks on hydraulic lifts and carefully balanced rear end revolutionised materials handling across German industry, boosting productivity by substantial margins. The firm went on to develop its own gasoline, diesel, and LP gas-powered units for general and specialised service, including sales to the Heer and Luftwaffe. Production is concentrated at the firms Paderborn-Sennlager facility, which opened in 1940.


Thursday, July 17th 2014, 5:19pm

Bruse Armaturenfabrik KG

In 1886 the brothers Franz and Ferdinand Bruse opened a factory for the production of brass builder’s hardware in Berlin-Stieglitz, taking advantage of the capital’s rapid growth. The works included a brass foundry for casting. During the Great War the firm was ordered to undertake the fabrication of parts for munitions. The firm’s first valves were marketed in 1912 and today form its principal product line – ball values, shut-off valves and water meter fittings. The firm also manufactures sanitary fittings. In 1934 the firm pioneered the hot-press brass forging technique and opened its own forging shop; the introduction of this new technology increased the precision to which valves could be manufactured as well as reducing their cost. The firm remains in the control and under the direction of the heirs of the founders.


Sunday, July 20th 2014, 1:59am

Maschinenfabrik Rhenania AG

This firm was founded in 1919 in Köln-Ehrenfeld by Ernst Grob as a small factory making pots, pans and other ironmongery. In the 1920s the firm changed course, and began the manufacture of machine tools, first for the wood-working industry and later for the metal-working industry. In 1942 the firm introduced a numerically-controlled milling machine using punched tapes to control the movement of the cutting tool. Since that time it has concentrated its efforts to improve the technique of numerical control and expand the use of the technique to others parts of its product line, which now includes numerically-controlled lathes and drilling machines. Presently the firm’s work force numbers in excess of five hundred.


Sunday, July 20th 2014, 11:24pm

Friedrich Deckel Präzisionsmechanik und Maschinenbau AG

This firm is one of the largest German manufacturers of camera shutters and precision machine tools for the manufacture of cameras and camera components. It was founded in 1903 as a partnership between Friedrich Deckel, a former laboratory mechanic at the Zeiss works at Jena, and the inventor Christian Bruns of München. Bruns had developed the compound-leaf shutter which the company first marketed in 1904. In 1905 Bruns retired from active management of the firm though he continued to develop components for photographic equipment. In 1910 the firm was reorganized as a joint-stock company with the firms of Carl Zeiss, Bausch und Lomb and Alfred Gauthier each taking shares of the firm’s capital. A new factory was erected in München-Sendling.

As precision machine tools for the fine tolerances required to manufacture photographic components were not available, the firm began to manufacture its own equipment, first for its own use, and then for sale to other manufacturers. Over the years this has become the firm’s principal line of business, though it continues to manufacture camera components of proprietary design. In 1924 it introduced a line of fuel injection pumps for diesel and petrol aero engines, and it is a major subcontractor of the BMW firm for these items. The firm presently has more than three thousand employees.


Saturday, July 26th 2014, 1:43am

Wolters Kratzen und Maschinenfabrik KG

Johann Peter Wolters began the manufacture of carding machines in 1804 in the town of Mettmann. Upon his death in 1850 his widow and his sons continued the successful business, as textile cards were in high demand by the expanding textile industry of the Prussian Rhine province. A new factory was built in 1881, and a further factory expansion undertaken in 1893, at which time the Wolters concern was one of the largest suppliers of textile cards in Germany. In 1903 a third works in Mettmann was dedicated, wherein the firm undertook the manufacture of textile machinery.

In 1927 the firm took the lead in the foundation of the Eisengießerei Hardenberg in the nearby city of Neviges. This works specialised in the production of cast iron components for textile machinery and other cast and fabricated items required by the firm. To supplement its manufacture of textile machinery the firm introduced in 1929 a line of fine grinding, lapping and polishing machines. By 1936, this portion of its business had assumed major proportion and in 1943 the firm was reorganised as a private limited company and the current style adopted.

Between its facilities in Mettmann and Neviges the firm employs more than two thousand workers.


Monday, July 28th 2014, 9:21pm

Hans Lingl Anlagenbau KG

This firm was founded in 1938 by Hans Lingl in Weilheim, Upper Bavaria. He had filed his first patent for the mechanical manufacture of roof tiles in 1936, and put his patents to use in his new venture. From the manufacture of equipment for the production of roof tiles the firm moved to the automated equipment for production of bricks and other refractory materials.


Saturday, August 2nd 2014, 2:29am

Vereinigte Schmirgel und Maschinenfabriken AG

The firm is an internationally established manufacturer of flexible abrasives, headquartered in Hannover-Hainholz. It develops and produces surface coated abrasives for grinding operations on metal, wood and other materials.

With a history dating back well into the Nineteenth century, the firm is one of the oldest European abrasives manufacturers; it was founded in 1864 by Siegmund Oppenheim and Siegmund Salem, makers of sandpaper. In 1898 the firm began the construction of proprietary designs for automated grinding machines, while the following year the firm of Oppenheim und Compagnie merged with the firm of Schlesinger und Compagnie of Hamburg-Harburg to form the present corporation. In the years prior to the Great War the firm operated a subsidiary in London but its assets were seized in 1914 and not restored.

The principal factory is located in Hannover-Hainholz while the former Schlesinger works in Hamburg-Harburg is used for the large scale manufacture of sandpaper for the woodworking market. Overall, it employs more than one thousand workers.


Wednesday, August 6th 2014, 3:35am

Georg Schäfer und Compagnie KG

The Schweinfurt firm of Georg Schäfer und Compagnie was founded in 1904 to undertake the manufacture of ball bearings, needed in massive numbers for the growing German industrial economy. In 1909 it acquired the competing firm Erste Automatische Gussstahlkugel-Fabrik, vormals Friedrich Fischer AG, one of the nation’s oldest manufacturers of ball and roller bearings. Responding to the demand of the growing automotive industry across Europe the firm greatly expanded its production in the years before the Great War, and again, during the hostilities, the firm concentrated much of its efforts on the production of war material.

The years following the Great War were a time of economic dislocation, and many of the nation’s ball-bearing factories fell under the control of the firm Svenska Kullagerfabriken, which organised its acquisitions as Vereinigte Kugellagerfabriken AG. The Georg Schäfer enterprise was able to remain outside the grasp of the Nordish firm and restore its position as a large-scale manufacturer of all manner of ball and roller bearings. In 1933 the firm was able to acquire the Deutsche Kugellagerfabrik of Leipzig, and in 1934, with financing obtained from the government, was able to open a new factory in Wuppertal for the manufacture of heavy bearings for railway and military use.

In 1936 the firm organised a British subsidiary, George Schaffer and Company Ltd., which opened a factory in the city of Wolverhampton, primarily to supply bearing to the rapidly-growing British automobile industry. The following year it acquired the Swiss bearing manufacturer J. Schmid-Roost.

Subsidiary companies of the firm include:

In Germany

Deutsche Kugellagerfabrik AG, Leipzig-Ehrenberg (ball bearings)
Kugellagerfabriken Fischer AG, Schweinfurt (ball and roller bearings)
Kugellagerfabriken Schäfer AG, Rheinwerke, Wuppertal (heavy bearings)
Kugellagerfabriken Schäfer AG, Stammwerke, Schweinfurt (ball and roller bearings)


George Schaffer and Company Ltd, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom (ball and roller bearings)
Kugellagerwerke J. Schmid-Roost AG, Basel, Switzerland (ball bearings)


Wednesday, August 6th 2014, 12:38pm

Eisenhüttenwerk Keula AG

The first ironworks in the vicinity of Krauschwitz, in Saxony, dates to 1440, and it is from this stem that the present concern emerged in the late Eighteenth Century. Then known as the Eisenhammer zu Keula the concern became a leading industrial enterprise of the early Nineteenth Century; it became a joint stock company under its current name in 1840. By the late 1890s the firm had come to specialise as a provider of large cast sections in steel or iron, a role it would continue in during the Great War. In the postwar period it expanded its activities to include the manufacture of smaller steel fittings for the construction trade. It presently employs some six hundred workers in its foundry, forge and furnace shops.