Historical GH Catalog Title Page

Milestones GOLLMER & HUMMEL

More than 150 years of hose history

In love with hoses for 150 years
1872 – 2022

It all began nearly 150 years ago in the small Black
Forest town of Neuenbürg near Pforzheim, when master
rope-maker Friedrich Gollmer produced the very first hose
in his own workshop. The foundation stone for the
GOLLMER & HUMMEL success story was laid.

Company Founder Friedrich Gollmer | © GH

1872

Foundation & first steps

Master rope-maker Friedrich Gollmer learned the craft of hemp hose weaving in Vienna and brought it back with him to his home town of Neuenbürg in the Black Forest.

 

He starts hose production and produces over 1,500 meters of fire hose in his first business year from hemp – on a handloom!

 

Even in these early days, he is far-sighted enough to invest in semi-mechanized handlooms.

1891

Investment – industrialization

By 1891, industrialization is in full swing!

 

As well as providing financial backing, financier Albert Hummel also contributes his name – Friedrich and Albert establish the open trading business Gollmer & Hummel! Albert leaves, but his name remains ... 

 

When demand grows and fully mechanized looms from Britain and the company’s first twisting machines speed up production, a larger company building springs up in Neuenbürg in 1897. 

Photovoltaic system on the hall roof of Gollmer & Hummel | © GH

1897

Alternative energy

By the end of the 19th century, Gollmer & Hummel had already found a solution to the problematic energy supply: renewable energy in the form of hydroelectricity from the nearby Enz river!

 

Since 2018, Gollmer & Hummel have had solar panels on their roof.

Herrmann Gollmer is the 2nd GH generation | © GH

1904

Expansion & First World War

Herrmann Gollmer takes over as the 2nd generation of the family business in 1904: Gollmer & Hummel expand throughout Europe as a fire hose specialist.

 

Female weavers keep production going as the First World War approaches, because all the men in the company – except for Herrmann – are called up to fight.

 

In 1922, Friedrich Gollmer finally hands over the reins to Herrmann and his daughters Helene and Gertrud.  

Helene Schönthaler establishes polyester fibers in hose production | © GH

1923

Growth & standstill

With Herrmann and his daughter Helene, the company continues to grow.
At this time, the family-run business employs 30 workers and operates 15 flat looms. For the first time, GH fire hoses are exported to Persia and South America.

 

But the hoses also put out the fires of war – the entire economy comes to a standstill. Production can only start again, in small steps, when raw materials have been allocated. 

Zuverlässiger Flachschlauch GH PROGRESES | © GH

1946

Partnership

From 1946, the war is followed by a boom, and flat looms can be replaced by more advanced round looms.

 

A partnership with rubber producer Gummiwaren Simon helps to meet the demand for rubberized hoses. 

 

Rubberized fire hoses in GH quality are still in use around the world today!

Hose production at GH in the middle of the 20th century | © GH

1958

Revolution

Herrmann Gollmer retires from the company in 1958. After many decades of working together, his daughter Helene Schönthaler (née Gollmer) follows in his footsteps. 

 

She brings about a revolution: GH hoses are now woven from high-grade polyester fibers. 

 

Today, multi-ply polyester yarns are still the basis of fabric hoses in top GH quality.

Erich Schönthaler drives expansion forward | © GH

1971

Expansion

Erich Schönthaler, Helene Schönthaler’s son, joins the family business in 1971 and gradually replaces his  mother at the helm. A shrewd and diplomatic businessman, he pushes the company’s expansion over almost the entire globe. 

 

By also producing rubber manchons, Gollmer & Hummel have a clear lead over the competition. 

 

Specially developed rubber compounds have been a guarantee of GH quality since 1975


 

Eva Schönthaler is still in the management today | © GH

1984

Tradition lives on

Following the sudden death of Erich Schönthaler in 1984, his wife Eva steps into the breach and takes over the management of the company with a diligent and logical approach.

 

She steers Gollmer & Hummel along the road to success with dedication and seemingly limitless energy. To this day – tradition lives on!

Modern circular loom in the weaving mill of Gollmer & Hummel in Straubenhardt | © GH

1991

Straubenhardt

Coming together, belonging together: In order to simplify what are now increasingly complex production processes, hose weaving and rubber production were brought together in Straubenhardt, and the historic headquarters in neighboring Neuenbürg were exchanged for a larger site.  

 

The company premises were continually expanded over the years, most recently with a new weaving factory containing modern round looms. 

 

Whereas 1,500 meters of hemp hose were laboriously woven by hand in 1872, today 1 million meters of hose for a diverse range of applications are waiting in stock. 

The managing directors Christoph Schönthaler (left), Eva Schönthaler and Matthias Rinke | © GH

THANK YOU!

1996 to the present

Matthias Rinke got to know – and love – Gollmer & Hummel back in the mid-1980s when working there on college vacation. He finally joined the company in 1996. 

 

In 1999, the 5th generation is at Eva Schönthaler’s side in the form of Christoph Schönthaler. 

 

After a 150-year trip through time with all its highs and lows, we have now arrived in 2022. Today, Eva Schönthaler, Matthias Rinke and Christoph Schönthaler still make up the senior management. 

 

Thank you to all our customers, partners, employees, helpers, and friends for your contribution!