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Our History

Quality has been a tradition at WMF for almost 170 years. The company’s initial focus was on pure metal processing, and our name WMF still makes reference to our origins as “Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik”. The portfolio continued to evolve over the course of the company’s history, as did the logo and appearance of our brand.
WMF 1853

The foundation: Metallwarenfabrik Straub & Schweizer

In 1853, mill owner Daniel Straub, together with the Schweizer brothers, established the Straub & Schweizer metal works in Geislingen with a workforce of 16 people. Only a few years later in 1862, Straub & Schweizer silver-plated tableware and serving dishes were awarded medals of distinction at the Great London Exposition. In order to strengthen sales in Northern Germany as well, the first store was founded in Berlin in 1868 – the start of the Group’s present-day network of stores. In 1880, the company merged with Metallwarenfabrik Ritter & Co. from Esslingen to form the public limited company Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik (WMF), with its headquarters in Geislingen.

The founder: Daniel Straub

Shortly before the foundation of WMF, Daniel Straub had founded his first manufacturing company, Maschinenfabrik Geislingen, in connection with his participation in the construction of the Geislinger Steige, the steepest railway line in Europe at the time. As experienced metal spinners, the brothers Friedrich and Louis Schweizer were able to contribute their technical expertise.
Daniel Straub 1853

Our logo

From 1880 onwards, the company logo featured a walking ostrich, presumably Daniel Straub’s family crest. Today’s logo, with its special letter arrangement, first appeared on a brochure in 1907. It was used until 1925 and was subsequently given a makeover in 1965 and 2007 to reflect contemporary styles.

1880

1925

1927

1935

1965

2007

WMF History Brand identity

Our image

WMF’s advertising posters have always captured the trends of the times. This means we have always been able to stand out from the competitive environment without losing sight of the company’s DNA. No matter what the era, WMF advertising has always reflected the company’s principles: the design, production and sale of modern, quality products with a high practical value.
WMF new brand identity

The WMF timeline

The history’s future: the WMF product archive

Together with the State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, we have preserved an archive of products in our company building in Geislingen (Steige), which includes approx. 11,000 individual pieces from all areas of production – from purely functional goods to high-quality design objects based on the designs of well-known artists. It contains pieces from more than 150 years of artisan and industrial production as well as numerous unique items in the form of test pieces, hand samples or prototypes. All objects are recorded in a database with materials, techniques, dimensions, dates, designers and states of preservation, thus ensuring their long-term preservation and future accessibility.