1923 On December 10th, 1923 Josef Bohle founds his company in spite of the hyperinflation prevailing in Germany. He arranges a small space in his brother-in-law´s workshop in order to start producing cutting wheels. His first customers are knife manufacturers producing pocket knives. Apart from blades, corkscrews and other tools, the knives are also equipped with a glass cutting wheel.
Transfer to own Company Building
1930 Josef Bohle builds his first company building in Grenzstraße 13 in Solingen. ______________________________________________________________________ Products
Production of Complete Glass Cutters
1932 Josef Bohle starts manufacturing complete glass cutters under the brand names JBOR (Josef Bohle Ohligs Rheinland) and JBOR-Extra. In the meantime, after having completed his apprenticeship as a locksmith, August Bohle joins his father in the company.
1936 Silberschnitt® becomes an officially registered brand name: This can be regarded a historical milestone for being the birth of a quality tool which will soon enjoy an excellent reputation in expert circles all over the world. This success story is fostered by the colourful brand name Silberschnitt®, referring to the shining silvery line which a high quality cut leaves in the glass. Despite those who could not speak German having difficulty pronouncing Silberschnitt®, the product becomes world renowned.
The War Years
The years during and following the Second World War were characterised by the constant danger of being called up for military service. Nevertheless, due to its unique position in a small, highly specialised market sector, the company was classified as a "strategic producer". In this way August Bohle was deferred from military service.
The Post-War Period
After the war, the company entered into a new period of growth, significantly shaped by August Bohle as far as technical development is concerned.
The First Larger Investments
1951 After acquiring some neighbouring plots, three production facilities with saw-tooth roofs are built. This development represents the first larger construction investment of the young company.
Change of the Legal Form of the Company
1958 On January 1st, 1958 the legal form of the company is changed. The general partnership (oHG) turns into a limited partnership (KG). Josef and August Bohle are registered as general partners and August Bohle´s three sons become listed as limited partners.
1957 As the first of August Bohle´s sons, Norbert Bohle enters the company.
Death of the Company Founder
1959 Josef Bohle dies in April at the age of 76. Even though he was no longer working in the company during the last years of his life, he was always present and interested in the development of his company helped by the immediate vicinity of his home to the company buildings.
1953 The Veribor® 1 vacuum lifter is added to the product portfolio. By the 1950s the production of vacuum lifters designed for transporting and handling larger glass sheets had already begun. The product range is increasingly expanded and becomes the second pillar of the company.
Looking for Land for Further Growth
1969 Having added numerous plots and having performed different construction works, the expansion capacities of Grenzstraße in Solingen Ohligs are exhausted. If the company is to expand any further, the site has to be changed. At first the plan is to buy a new plot at Schorberger Straße in Solingen in order to continue the expansion of the company that had been planned. However, shortly before signing the sales agreement, the city of Haan makes a better offer which is subsequently accepted.
Move to Haan and Further Expansion
1970 First construction works are completed on the new company premises in Haan. At the end of the year Ulrich Bohle moves into the new building together with the 12 employees of the cutting wheel and rosette turnery.
Foundation of the August Bohle Foundation
1971 The August Bohle Foundation is founded as a general partner of the limited partnership.
Automatic Mounting of Glass Cutters
1972 First attempts to automatise the mounting of glass cutters are successful. This means a large and necessary advance in productivity.
1983 The front part of production hall 1 is remodelled to make room for administration and sales facilities. 1984 On January 1st the company headquarters are moved from Solingen to Haan.
Change in strategy
1990 The creation of a direct marketing sales network implies a strategic change. In the coming years, the most important task consists of building up a direct sales network of Bohle products to glaziers and the glazing industry in eight different European countries.
1991 After German Reunification a subsidiary in Torgau, Saxony, is set up.
Internationalisation and Expansion
1993 The French department is built up in Haan. This is intended as an alternative model for developing the market in France without a subsidiary inside the country.
A 30,000 m² building in Siemensstraße is bought, which will later on provide the necessary space for further expansion.
1994 Bohle Ges. m.b.H. is founded in Vienna to serve the Austrian market.
The company Caprioglio in Milan is taken over and renamed Bohle Italia s.l.r. Additionally, 75% of the company Maquimetal in Madrid and Barcelona are taken over, confirming Bohle’s entry into the Spanish market.
1996 Bohle takes over the company Berlyne Bailey & Co. Ltd, England, and changes the name to Bohle Ltd.
2001 The company is converted into a joint stock company.
2002 Bohle is now also present on the African continent. The subsidiary in Johannesburg, South Africa, is founded.
Bohle enters the Estonian market by becoming shareholder of a company in Tallinn and subsequently then enters the Finnish market.
2003 Bohle added a dedicated Art Glass warehouse at the Wembley site
90 years of Bohle
2013 90 years after its foundation, the Bohle Group is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers and wholesalers of tools, machinery and accessories for glass processing and glass finishing with a portfolio of more than 10,000 products. The company has been certified according to the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System, exports its products into more than 100 countries and is represented by more than 320 employees at 13 locations.
Josef Bohle´s one-man company, producing one single product, has become one of the big players in the international glass market. In the year of its 90th anniversary Bohle is a sound family business which has never lost its innovative strength since its inception.
2013 Bohle opens its new visitor centre in Haan, Germany where product presentation and customer communication go hand in hand.
2015 Bohle UK opens its new showroom in Dukinfield. The ground floor offices are radically re-designed to create a bespoke showcase for Bohle’s vast and innovative product range.
2013 The long-standing Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Ulrich Bohle, does not offer himself for reelection again after working for the company for 45 years, of which he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board for 7 years. After 56 years at the company and 12 years being a member of the Supervisory Board, Norbert Bohle has also decided to step down from this duty. Dr. Mathias Turwitt, who has already been part of the committee for 8 years as Deputy Chairman, is now elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
2013 Bohle continues to invest in the development of new products and the development of existing products. Liftmaster B2 is launched as an innovative handling aid for large sheet materials.
The range of trade goods is also expanded. The range of fittings, for example, has grown enormously over recent years. Now it offers a nearly complete portfolio for "Bathrooms", "Interior Fittings", "Furniture", "Balustrades" and "Canopies".