Brand history

  • WMF today

 

Since 1853, WMF has been making cooking, eating and drinking at home and in restaurants an event around the world.

Today, WMF is always close to you. You can find the brand in their own divisions in upscale speciality retailers, in department stores and select furniture shops. WMF is in prime locations in German cities as well as in Switzerland, Austria and France with over 190 of their own subsidiaries. WMF is represented in major European countries as well as the USA, Japan and China with their own sales subsidiaries. You can find WMF products in a total of 90 countries.

The trade mark

The company logo originated in 1880 in a running ostrich, likely the family crest of Daniel Straub.

Today's logo with its unique letter arrangement appeared for the first time in a brochure from 1907.

It became established around 1925 and was adapted and further developed in 1965 and 2007 to the aesthetic sense of time.

  • 1880

  • 1925

  • 1927

  • 1935

  • 1965

  • 2007

History

Daniel Straub

The mill owner Daniel Straub founded the metal goods factory Straub & Schweizer in 1853 in Geislingen with the Schweizer brothers. The company initially had 16 employees. Shortly before this, Daniel Straub had founded his first industrial company, the Machine Factory Geislingen (Maschinenfabrik Geislingen), in connection with his participation in the construction of the Geislinger Steige, the steepest railway line in Europe at the time. As experienced metal spinners, the brothers Friedrich and Louis Schweizer offered technical experience.

In the first decades after the company establishment, WMF product design was dominated by the then common historicising style, which drew on the shapes and styles of past art history eras. And so gorgeous tableware with its representative appearance arose.

1862

Already in 1862, the young company was awarded with a gold medal at the World Exhibition in London. The first branch brew from the warehouse of sample products in Berlin in 1868.

1880

Merger with Metallwarenfabrik Ritter & Co., Esslingen to become the W├╝rttembergische Metallwarenfabrik AG headquartered in Geislingen.  

At the same time, WMF was busying itself with its first coffee machine. They worked according to the percolator principle, where the hot water rises through a cylinder and meets the ground coffee above.

1887

In response to the social question, WMF founded the charitable organisation to provide various services. 

Before World War I, the company organised a central fish market. This fish was favourably dispensed to the employees. The "fish hall" is today known as a factory outlet.

 As one of the first companies, WMF launched its own company newsletter in 1890, the "Feierstunde." It still appears today as the "WMF Spiegel."

1889

Start of serial production of galvanic silver-plated cutlery.

1885

  

Modernism in art history begins with Art Nouveau. Floral forms, curved lines and asymmetrical designs also define the design of WMF products starting around 1895 without the traditionally-designed items disappearing altogether.

1900

WMF has already employed 3,000 workers.

The 1920's

  

The 1920's are defined by a shift to more objective and functional forms. As a part of the New Handcrafts Department (NHD) founded in 1927, WMF launches (in addition to the standard product range) special collections designed by renowned designers and architects. The so-called "Ikora" products, coloured glass and metal goods, justify the reputation of WMF as a manufacturer of handcrafted products.

1927

  

Start of production for the first series of large coffee machines. The first pressure cooker, "Sicomatic," is launched on the market. 

1930

The company Krupp had already developed a new steel alloy before World War I: stainless steel, also called V2A steel. Starting in 1927, WMF was the first company to manufacture household equipment and kitchen appliances from this new material and therefore registered the trademark "Cromargan:" "Crom" for the high chromium content of the alloy and "Argan" for the silver-like appearance. In 1932, the first Cromargan cutlery was launched on the market. Today, high quality, stainless steel cutlery made from Cromargan by WMF stands for the best quality and is an excellent design with numerous awards.

1935

1930 to 1935 Expansion of the subsidiary network.

1945 - 1950

After 1945, the determined rebuilding began. The production in remaining undamaged plants was modernised. Stores were rebuilt. Soon sales companies were created in many European countries as well as in the United States. In 1950, WMF was already employing around 3,000 employees again, a number that would double by around the mid-1960's.

1955

Formation of the customer service network for commercial coffee machines (today comprising 200 service technicians).

The 1950's and the 1960's

  

Wilhelm Wagenfeld's work significantly defined industrial design. Although he fought against this term his whole life, Wagenfeld is considered a pioneer of industrial design. Today, he is regarded as one of the most important and influential product designers of the 1950's and 1960's in Germany. 

1962

Start of the blade manufacture for table knives in the Hayingen branch; production of kitchen knives starting in 1977.

1969

The first electronically-controlled high-volume coffee machine.

1981

1975 to 1981 Construction of the logistics centre.

1986

Starting in 1986 - Establishment and expansion of the WMF Group with the brand subsidiaries alfi, Hepp, Auerhahn, Silit, Kaiser baking pans and Schaerer Coffee Machines.

1985 The Modernism

   

A broad collaboration with international designers begins in the mid-1980's. In addition to the design activity of the in-house studio, the design of WMF products is characterised by completely different design personalities.

2006

WMF introduces the WMF1000, the first fully automatic coffee machine for home use. The smallest coffee pad machine in the world followed already in 2008.

2009

WMF develops cutlery that still looks like new, even after years of use: Cromargan protect® by WMF always leaves the surface of the pieces of cutlery looking flawless. Even under heavy use, time practically leaves no signs of wear.

2011

The WMF Group is consolidating its global small electrical appliance activities of the WMF, petra-electric and Princess brands into the new consumer electric business division. The first "child" of the new company is the smallest coffee machine, WMF500.