21. January 2020
// Inside

A "Start-up" with great success and great persistence

Stiegelmeyer celebrates its 120th anniversary in 2020

The Stiegelmeyer-Group will be 120 years old in 2020. At the beginning of our history there was a "start-up", which in its momentum and modernity would have fitted very well into the present day. This innovative spirit still inspires the company today.

Before Stiegelmeyer celebrates its birthday, the question always comes up: How old are we going to be exactly? Because the exact date of foundation is a matter of definition.

Start in Rödinghausen

Actually, the company founder Johann Stiegelmeyer started his business as early as 1899 – in his parents' home in Rödinghhausen, a community in the northwest of the Herford district. The 25-year-old and his business partner Fritz Brüne put together a small team and began producing so-called "steel wire mattresses". These were actually sprung gratings for bed frames – the actual mattresses were still mostly filled with horsehair or straw around 1900. At that time, the target customers were not specifically hospitals, but private individuals looking for modern sleeping comfort.

Apparently Stiegelmeyer was very successful from day one, because after only a few months, the conditions in Rödinghausen became too cramped for him. When the municipal authorities refused to extend the access road to his parents' property, the spirited young entrepreneur packed up his things and moved to Herford, then an up-and-coming centre of the German furniture industry. The entry of "Joh. Stiegelmeyer & Co." in the Herford commercial register on November 1, 1900 has since then been considered the official date of foundation and was the starting point for all previous anniversary celebrations of our company. Therefore 2020 is the year of our 120th anniversary.

Rapid development in Herford

After the move to Herford, things went uphill even faster. Stiegelmeyer never moved into any existing building, but had a new factory building put up. An etching from 1902 already shows modern, architecturally attractive company headquarters. As early as the 1900s, production of complete beds began – including hospital beds, in double-decker design for large dormitories.

Company founder Johann Stiegelmeyer, who had changed business partners several times in a very short period of time, was already on his way to Hanover to set up a metal rivet factory. His last business partner Albert Dörnte had paid him off in 1903, but had kept the already established company name.

Shareholder family Kemmler with a long tradition

The fact that the Stiegelmeyer-Group proudly describes itself as a traditional family business despite the fact that its founder was active for only four years is thanks to the current Kemmler family of shareholders. Their roots in the company's history now go back 100 years. The businessman Dietrich von Hollen was the first representative of the family to join the company when he married Grete Dörnte, the owner's daughter, in 1920. As a partner and managing director, he left his mark on Stiegelmeyer for half a century until his death in 1970. Anja Kemmler, the current chairwoman of the shareholder family, is his great-grandniece. Her husband, Georgios Kampisiulis Kemmler, today heads the company as Chairman of the Board of Management.

The development of innovative hospital beds became increasingly important for Stiegelmeyer in the course of the 20th century. At the same time, however, our company also repeatedly produced furniture for private customers, e.g. the practical so-called "space-saving furniture". In a way, this tradition continues today with our high-quality comfort beds for private customers.

Nursing home furniture with homelike wood decors was added in the 1980s – before that, nursing homes had also used hospital beds. Finally, our subsidiary Burmeier has been offering beds for homecare with great success since 1995. So, 2020 is also a festive year for Burmeier, celebrating its 25th anniversary.

We would like to take this "double anniversary year" as an opportunity to look back repeatedly on exciting events in the company's history in the FORUM and on Facebook. Come with us on a journey through 120 years of Stiegelmeyer.

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