WMF - WURTTEMBERGISCHE METALLWARENFABRIK: HISTORY
In 1853, Daniel Straub, a miller from Geislingen, joined forces with the Schweizer Brothers to form the "Metallwarenfabrik Straub & Schweizer" in Geislingen. This was the second company to be founded by Straub - previously in 1850, from the nucleus of a small repair workshop, which he had set up to work on the construction of Geislingen's famous railway incline, he had founded the Maschinenfabrik Geislingen. This company was involved mainly in manufacturing mill turbines and traded throughout Europe.
As early as 1862, the young company distinguished itself by winning a gold medal at the World Exhibition in London. In 1866, following the departure of the brothers Louis and Friedrich Schweizer, the company was renamed Straub & Sohn" (Straub & Son). The company showroom, built in 1868 in Berlin, gradually evolved to become the company's first retail outlet. Three years later, the company was already employing 60 workers. By 1880, the number of employees had grown to approximately 200 and the company was already producing 960 different items.
1880 saw the merger between Straub & Sohn and "Ritter & Co.", Esslingen, to form a public limited company under the name of Wurttembergische Metallwarenfabrik. At the time of the merger, Ritter & Co.'s Esslingen factory was already using the electroplating method of silver plating and had the more modern production facilities at its disposal. Straub's company, on the other hand, was the more profitable of the two.