1867 marks the beginning of the history of the family business EDUARD KRONENBERG. Over a period of now 155 years, we look back on a multitude of innovations and inventions in our company. We have always been inspired by a curious view of the world – join us in marveling at what has happened in over 15 decades.
Managing Director Karl Eduard Kronenberg founds the Solingen-based company and manufactures steel pocket knife springs.
Foundation of Canada
Oh, how beautiful Canada is. On July 1, 1867, the British provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined together to form the Canadian Confederation. This political act is considered the official founding of Canada. The Canadian head of state is still Queen Elizabeth II.
First fountain pen
One blob too many is a fondly recounted reason for the invention of the first fountain pen. Lewis E. Waterman drills wafer-thin channels into the grip between an ink tank and the nib, which allows ink to flow more evenly. In 1884 Waterman receives the patent for his writing instrument.
Vive Eiffel! On March 31, 1889, French engineer Gustave Eiffel raised the French flag on the steel structure he had designed. It took two years to build what was then the world’s tallest structure on the occasion of the Paris World’s Fair in the posh 7th arrondissement.
EK: Industrial progress
Production plant is equipped with steam engines. Other areas now include the cutlery industry and the tool industry.
First washing machine
Around 1902, the German Karl Louis Krauß was the first to develop a mechanical washing machine with a perforated washing drum. Starting in 1907, mechanical washing machines with electric drives are manufactured in the USA. The US engineer Alva J. Fisher is often named as its inventor.
EK: New location
Dingshauser Strasse in Solingen becomes the new location of the EK plant.
First non-stop transatlantic flight
Fasten your seat belts: John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown fly from St. John’s Newfoundland to Ireland near Clifden in 16 hours and 12 minutes on June 14, 1919. In the process, they cover around 1,980 nautical miles, or about 3,667 kilometers, at an average speed of 225 kilometers per hour.
HARIBO and the gummy bears
And adults as well! The candy maker Hans Riegel founded the company Haribo – Hans Riegel Bonn in 1920 – according to company information with little more than a bag of sugar and a copper kettle! Just two years later, he invents the ‘dancing bear’, the forerunner of the famous Haribo Gold Bears.
EK: File industry
With the managing director Carl Kronenberg, the file industry sector is added to the portfolio.
“What makes you full there? A curry sausage!” A fried sausage, accompanied by a sauce of chili and ketchup, in short the invention of the currywurst, popular throughout Germany, claims Berlin restaurateur Herta Heuwer. On September 4, 1949 was det, in the snack bar on the corner of Kant and Kaiser-Friedrich! Yep!
First soccer shoe with screw studs
Who invented it? The screw-in stud myth means: Adolf Dassler. The founder of Adidas files his patent on November 28, 1952. Others say: The cobbler Alexander Salot from Bremen is the inventor of “soccer boots or the like with replaceable anti-skid studs”, patented as early as August 30, 1949.
EK: Other customers
Automotive and electrical industries are added as new customers.
Three-point safety belt
Click! Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin combines the lap belt and shoulder belt – the manufacturer files a patent for his design in 1958 as the ‘three-point safety belt’. As early as 1959, Volvo launched two car models with the new safety system. And makes the invention generally accessible.
EK: New management
The brothers Hans-J. and Max Kronenberg take over the management and expand the business areas in the coming years.
Clack! From the early 1970s to the late 1990s, nothing went without the compact cassette and its accompanying recorder. Both were designed from 1960 by a team of developers led by engineer and inventor Lou Ottens at the Dutch company Philips, and were introduced as pocket recorders in August 1963.
1. cell phone
Envy when called! In 1973, Motorola introduces the first prototype of a cell phone, developed by electrical engineer Martin Cooper. The inventor of the modern cell phone makes his first call right away – to his rival at Bell Labs. It was not until 1983 that Motorola launched the DynaTAC 8000X.
EK: New business segment
The insulating glass sector is added as a strategic business area.
First laptop from Gavilan
Too early in the market! Manuel “Manny” Fernandez is the founder of Gavilan Computer Corporation and pioneers the development of one of the first truly portable laptops, the Gavilan SC, in 1983.
With floppy drive, MS-DOS operating system and a 5 MHz Intel 8088 processor. The device is met with only moderate interest.
A smart bone: IBM introduces ‘Simon’, in retrospect the world’s first smartphone, at COMDEX in Las Vegas on November 16, 1992. Manufactured by Mitsubishi, distributed by South Bell, ‘Simon’ handles fax messaging and e-mail communication in addition to telephony – and weighs over 500 grams.
First video conferencing system
I see you! At CeBit 1993, Aachen-based DATUS AG, a manufacturer of solutions in the field of communications networks, presents the first video conferencing system.
Due to improved compression methods, the speech is compressed by a factor of 10 during the first transmission.
EK: Plant 2
In the immediate vicinity of Plant 1 in Dingshauser Straße, EK now also manufactures in Plant 2 in Beethovenstraße in Solingen.
Emojis from Shigetaka Kurita
In 1999, Japanese interface designer Shigetaka Kurita designed 176 pictograms with a 12 x 12 pixel grid – and invented emojis, where in Japanese ‘e’ stands for picture, ‘mo’ for write, and ‘ji’ for character. His emoji set is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The cousins Ralf M. and Frank Kronenberg take over the management.
EK is TÜV certified according to ISO TS 16949.
EK enters into a strategic partnership and is now the only manufacturer in the world to produce steel and plastic fasteners for glass frame bonding in the insulating glass sector.
First iPhone generation
“This changes everything.” With this promise, Steve Jobs presents the first iPhone generation at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco on January 9, 2007. Development begins as early as 2004 under the code name “Project Purple”. In Germany, the iPhone cost ‘only’ 399 Euros at the time.
EK: New location
The two Solingen sites were merged at the new plant in the Haan | NRW Technology Park.
Own plastic production
Installation of molding equipment for our own plastics production.
EK celebrates company anniversary
What started in 1867 is successfully continued in the 5th generation. 150 years of quality “Made in Germany”.
Environmental certification according to ISO 14001
EK has been an environmentally conscious company from an early stage. Now it also receives certification according to the environmental management standard.
155 years EK
Quality and precision Made in Germany not only outlast every crisis, but are more in demand at EK than ever before. We are proud of that.