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Wengeler & Kalthoff - Werkzeuge für Bergbau, Hüttenindustrie und Bauindustrie

Wengeler & Kalthoff - Werkzeuge für Bergbau, Hüttenindustrie und Bauindustrie


Company history


5 October
1803
The King of Prussia gives permission for the old state-owned cornmill at Blankenstein to be demolished and to use the natural fall of the river Ruhr in the mill shaft to power a number of water-driven forging hammers. 

1804 Johann Arnold Halbach zu Müngsten in Remscheid sets up seven forging hammers in five huts and begins producing the famous Halbach steel (axe steel)  

1810 Halbach’s oldest son Arnold establishes a subsidiary plant in Philadelphia  

Up to about 1830 Scythe blades and gunbarrel steel sold in France, America and Spain 
 

1828 The economic crisis closes the American factory and the blade factory in Müngsten and the steelworks in Blankenstein are subsequently mortgaged.  

after 1839 After paying off all creditors Gustav Halbach continues the business on a much reduced scale. 

1874 Georg Halbach (nephew of Gustav Halbach) winds up the firm and sells the forging hammers.  

1875 The hammers are sold by Friedrich Lohmann for 18,000 Goldtaler and the plant is leased out to master craftsman Karl Kalthoff.  

1875-1906 Production of broad goods, such as spades, frying pans and shovels, and manufacture of wagon axles and wheel rims. Up to 1900 a special puddling hammer was also used to make puddling hooks. Products of this type were sold as far away as Poland and the Orient.  

1902 Acquisition of a plot of land close to the railway station and construction of a new factory in association with the former tobacco trader and merchant Hugo Wengeler.       
                                                                            
1 June1906 Manufacturing commences under the name "Wengeler & Kalthoff". The purchase of a steam engine and the installation of a transmission system means that the new workshops no longer rely on water power.  

1 October
1906
Karl Kalthoff’s business is transferred to his son Karl Kalthoff and the merchant Hugo Wengeler for equal shares of 25,000 Goldmarks. The factory is producing tool steel, wrought iron and drill steels for a wide variety of applications. The company specialises in ready-machined rock drills for drilling machines and hammer drills for Germany’s burgeoning mining industry, as well as forged products of all kinds.  

1914-1918 Manufacture of grenade shells for the First World War. 

1916 Facilities are greatly expanded with the construction of a hammer mill and the purchase of a second steam engine.  

1926 Friedrich-Wilhelm Wengeler, the son of Hugo Wengeler, joins the company. 

1928 Friedrich-Wilhelm Wengeler takes over the company shares held by Karl Kalthoff, the Kalthoff family having left the business due to the absence of a male heir.  

1937 The factory is extended by the construction of mechanical workshops for the finishing of preforged items.  

1939 Construction and enlargement of the staff rooms and recreation facilities.  

1943 The factory is destroyed by flooding from the bombing of the Möhne dam.  

1945 Two-thirds of the factory is destroyed in the final days of the War.  

1945-1947 After protracted and tough negotiations the factory is eventually taken off  the demolition list, as the company is the main supplier of tools for the local mining industry.  

1952 After the death of Hugo Wengeler, Friedrich-Wilhelm Wengeler takes over as the sole company director. 
 
1957 Construction of the present-day lathe turning hall and metal store.  

1959 Construction of a goods vehicle garage and gatehouse.    

1960 The main factory entrance is relocated and an office block is constructed between the two main production halls. 

1964 The old hammer works is demolished and a new facility is constructed on the original foundations. 

1970 On the death of Friedrich-Wilhelm Wengeler his widow Emmy Wengeler takes over the running of the company.   

1974 Chief engineer F.W. Kunat joins the company as authorised signatory and technical director.  

1978 The goods vehicle garage is converted into office space and all remaining administrative operations are transferred to the Witten plant.  

1980 On the death of Emmy Wengeler F.W. Kunat takes over the reins of the company as managing director with effect from 1980. 

1983 Completion of a new warehouse  

1988 Dipl.-Ing. Friedrich Wengeler, the son of Friedrich-Wilhelm Wengeler and Emmy Wengeler, joins the company as managing director.  

1990 Friedrich Wengeler buys out his two half-sisters and the company passes into the hands of a single owner.  

1998 F.W. Kunat goes into well-earned retirement, having done much over the previous 24 years to reshape the fortunes of a company now in its third generation of family ownership.  

  F.-W. Wengeler continues to head the company as it moves into its fourth generation.


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