1916. The First World War rages in Europe. During his military service Wilhelm Wöhler from Berlin gets to know the master chimney sweep Rimsky. The two friends get together and the inventive Wilhelm Wöhler begins making the first wire brushes for chimney cleaning. What started out as a sideline increasingly becomes an occupation. It was only logical that Wilhelm Wöhler registered his Berlin brushmaking business in 1932, running it in the Dernburgstraße 47, Charlottenburg up to 1947.
1948. The Second World War is over. Post-war confusion leads Wilhelm’s son Hans Wöhler to Wuppertal, where he continues the brushmaking business of his father. He rents rooms over a garage and uses the pioneering spirit of the young Federal Republic to expand his production, which he moves to larger premises in the Tellweg, Wuppertal in 1953. The core business continues to be cleaning instruments for chimney sweeps, although the first brushes for industrial use are also produced at this time.
1958. Hans Wöhler develops the HW chimney cowl, which is still produced today in a similar form. The design and construction of the first wire cutting machine in 1961 marks a further milestone in the company history: Hans Wöhler’s successful start in the machinery business.
1962. Ever conscious of company development and expansion, Hans Wöhler establishes contact with the town of Wünnenberg and conducts constructive negotiations with the local mayor Laufkötter in a pleasant, rural atmosphere over the possible plot of land and its selling price. The industrialist from Wuppertal negotiates a price of 7.50 DM/m², receives further funding from the state structural development programme and immediately starts planning the plant in the Schützenstraße.
1964. The company moves from Wuppertal to Wünnenberg. Three employees took the step of moving from the region Bergisches land to the southern Paderborner land. Others came to the company having read locally posted notices and word quickly spread about the young company and the promising new jobs it was offering. However, Hans Wöhler decided not to break with Wuppertal, which remains company headquarters until 1980, the remaining sales outlet there finally being closed in 2002. For the company owner the size of the new plant in Wünnenberg seemed to be over the top at the time. He is quoted as having said to his plant manager: “Krei, we’ve built this much too big!”. One of his seldom misjudgements, as it turned out only a few years later.
1965. Already in the following year, the company starts in developing measuring instruments. The A 66, designed for the measurement of CO2 in fireplaces, marks this significant step forward. Already at this early stage the core businesses and product groups of the Wöhler company were clearly defined: Measuring and cleaning instruments, machinery for brush production and technical brushes for industrial use.
1980. Wünnenberg becomes the key location for Wöhler. As a result Dr. Fritz Wöhler, who had since taken over the company management, transfers the company headquarters from Wuppertal and changes the company form in 1988 to the limited company of “Wöhler Technische Bürsten Maschinenbau GmbH”. The company experiences steady growth. Technological progress creates new opportunities and Wöhler recognises the potential for new products, which prove successful on the market.
1994. As the borders to Eastern Europe are opened, Fritz Wöhler grasps the opportunity of investing in the Czech Republic. He establishes the company Wöhler Bohemia s.r.o. in Pelhrimov as an “extended workbench”. Pelhrimov is the heart of the Czech brush industry with a qualified and experienced workforce. Fritz Wöhler recognises this locational advantage and uses it accordingly for his investment. In the meantime more than 75% of the Czech company’s production is sold through its own distribution channels.
1996. The strong development of the measuring and cleaning instrument division calls for further structural change. The company management decides to separate and operate independently in the future as Wöhler Messgeräte Kehrgeräte GmbH.
1999. The Wöhler Holding is established and forms a future canopy over independently operating companies.
Investments abroad are continued and the company HTFilament s.r.o. is established in the Czech Republic for the production of heat resistant special filaments.
2002. The brushmaking machinery and technical brush divisions both operate highly efficiently and increasingly independently. The companies Wöhler Brush Tech GmbH and Wöhler Technische Bürsten GmbH are established. Union FM-Rolls Co. Ltd. is established in Taiwan, starting production in the same year. Wöhler enjoys a worldwide presence. Its subsidiaries and representatives around the world make Wöhler a true global player. In 2002 Dr. Fritz Wöhler withdraws from the operational business and dedicates himself to the development of the Wöhler Holding.
2003 to date. Despite progressive globalisation Wöhler still succeeds as a family business and remains loyal to the Bad Wünnenberg location. In 2003 the fourth generation of the Wöhler family takes up office, to successfully lead the Holding into the future. This is clearly demonstrated by the new management of Dr. Katrin Wöhler and her brother Wolfram Wöhler in their investment made in the new production and administration building in Bad Wünnenberg. In 2007 the Messgeräte Kehrgeräte company takes its place in the prestigious new facility, built directly adjacent to the existing plant complex in the Schützenstraße.
2007. The opening of the new Wöhler facility is a good reason for duly celebrating the company’s 75th anniversary. Hundreds of guests view the modern workplaces in production and administration over an impressive area of 15,000 m².
2009. Always the focus of our activities: The Wöhler customer. With its successful certification in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001:2008 Wöhler Technische Bürsten underlines once more our traditional focus on high quality standards and commitment to customer satisfaction.
2010. Our successful development of innovative products is confirmed at the EuroBlech fair by being presented with their Innovation Award. Wöhler Brush Tech was successful against strong competition with its EdgeRacer technology, making edge rounding child’s play.
2012. A breakthrough is made in analysing suspended particulates with the newly developed Wöhler SM 500. The official product certification and type approval for monitoring limit values of suspended particulates in accordance with the Federal Emission Control Act 1. BImSchV is passed in July.
2013. Wöhler Brush Tech GmbH is successfully certified in accordance with DIN EN ISO 9001, further illustrating that the Wöhler customer is the focus of our activities.
2015. Wöhler Bohemia acquires the roll pin division of MBK Machinery and further expands its machinery programme for paintbrush and roller production.
2016. "Wöhler Messgeräte Kehrgeräte GmbH" becomes "Wöhler Technik GmbH". Further enlargement of our production facilities in Bad Wünnenberg (5600 m²).