A Brief Company History
“In 1884, right at the time when the industries in the Ruhr Area were beginning to prosper, August Friedberg, a blacksmith by profession, started a small business in Rotthausen, which was to become the foundation for a bolt and rivet factory.” This sentence was part of a news article, published by “Gelsenkirchener Allgemeine Zeitung” on June 12th, 1934 on the occasion of the company’s golden anniversary, which the staff had celebrated in Rotthausen three days before.
As early as 1891 the small workshop turned into a business enterprise including a warehouse for stock-keeping. Despite the steadily growing number of customers at that time, however, the young company still manufactured its bolts by hand on the basis of its own processing instructions.
It was only with the introduction of standards for the bolt production just before the turn of the century that machine processing became possible. The construction of the boiler house indicated this change.
Incorporated with the Local Court in 1905 the bolt factory has since been known by the name of August Friedberg.
From Small Business to Industrial Enterprise
Economic Upswing in the Second Generation
Managed by the founder’s son, Dipl.-Ing. Gustav Friedberg, since 1924 the company received a real boost.
Despite the Great Depression…
The era of depression that followed also left its marks on the bolt and rivet factory. As reported in the aforementioned news article from “Gelsenkirchener Allgemeine Zeitung” about the company’s 50th anniversary, the company was temporarily forced to stop production. At the time of the anniversary, however, “there are again 140 fellow countrymen who earn a living at the workbenches and in the offices of the company.” Shortly before, on April 19th, 1934 the founder of the company, August Friedberg, had died aged 81.
During World War II 80% of the factory’s premises were being destroyed. Reconstruction lasted until the 1950s and required extensive petitions to the military government. A bilingual request for the modification of the lavatories and the common rooms is still kept filed in the archives of the building authorities.
More than just Bolts
On the 75th anniversary of the company Friedberg in 1959 “Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung” stated that the company represented an era in economic history. As a manufacturing company for the mass production of bolts and rivets and as a family business it had been lucky to keep its independence.
Despite the Mining Crisis…
In spite of the year of crisis for Gelsenkirchen’s industry in 1966 – closure of the coal mines Dahlbusch, Graf Bismarck and Wilhelmine Viktoria – Friedberg decided to expand its premises in Gelsenkirchen to 25 000 square metres.
Looking ahead and beyond the company premises now expanded to over 30000 square metres also comes naturally to the third generation in the family business. Since 1971 it has been the task of Ms Dipl.-Oec. Ingrid Brand-Friedberg to attune the production of the factory to the constantly changing demands of the market.
The international lead of Friedberg products has been extended steadily. Thus, in 1974 the company “A. Friedberg do Brasil Industrie e Comercio Ltda.” started business in the Brazilian town of Monte Mor in the state of Sao Paulo. As an autonomous subsidiary with over 100 employees it manufactures Friedberg products for the South-American market.
At the same time the export turnover of the main production facility in Gelsenkirchen starts to climb to the over 50% of its total turnover today.
Recently, the latest test results and in-house developments of Friedberg have also been presented to the representatives of industrial enterprises in conferences all over the world. In the end bolts are essential when it comes to connecting components of all kinds.
Ready for the Second Millenium
Today as in its 130 year-old history Friedberg is still among the technical innovators of its trade, manufacturing high-quality products which are a match for the severest tests in its well-equiped testing facilities, produced on special high-capacity machines which are operated by highly skilled and well trained personnel.
Thus, the company started by August Friedberg in 1884 is well prepared to face any future technical and economic challenges.´
Start-up of Formteil- und Schraubenwerk Finsterwalde GmbH in Finsterwalde, Germany
Foundation of Prepart GmbH in Lichtenfels-Goddelsheim, Germany
Foundation of August Friedberg Asia Inc. in Busan, South Korea
Foundation of August Friedberg Americas Inc. , USA