About Humans, Machines and Good Ideas
König's Progress from the 19th to the 21st Century
Heinrich König & Co. KG was founded in 1892 by Messrs. Arthur and Willy Stern in Frankfurt/Main. The company owes its name to the authorized representative of that time, Mr. Heinrich König.
In the early years, the company traded with technical papers and drawing materials which were soon replaced by the manufacture of photo carton, photo albums and folders. Export business started very early. In 1920, Mr. Carl Niemeyer became co-proprietor and excelled in selling successfully all over the world. Unfortunately, customs duties became too high, so that König had to revert back to its previous product sector and had to seek alternatives. In the 1920’s, König took over a company manufacturing stains and started production of furniture stains, lacquers and polishes. In 1930 or rather 1938, the founders Messrs. Arthur and Willy Stern left the company for private reasons. During World War II, work continued under difficult circumstances even after the production site had partly been destroyed.
Very soon after the war was over, the previous owner Mr. Carl Niemeyer and the authorized signatory Mr. Georg Augustin took over the company again. When Mr. Helmut Grieshaber joined the company, lacquers, filling materials and retouching paints as well as primers were produced. This was followed by further investment into machinery and the development of new product solutions. In 1963, Mr. Helmut Grieshaber became co-proprietor. The installation of an aerosol bottling line for lacquer and oil spray cans represented a crucial milestone. Since 1961 in addition to clear colour shades, more and more opaque repair lacquers and fillers were manufactured in house. Colour shades were manufactured to suit individual customer samples. When Messrs. Jürgen and Klaus Grieshaber joined the company in 1967 and 1969, the company concentrated step by step on producing repair products for furniture surfaces. In 1971 and 1974 Messrs. Jürgen and Klaus Grieshaber became co-proprietors and in 1977 an internal Training Centre was established to teach practical application of König products. In 1978 Mr. Carl Niemeyer, the 'nest builder', died at the age of 82 – until his death he was working with passion for the company. In the 1980s the company experienced a rapid rise thanks to the training instructor Mr. Peter Seibold who in return obtained commercial procuration in 1986. In the commercial sector, Ms. Laidig-Marx became authorized signatory in 1991.
In June 1992, König celebrated their 100th anniversary.
As a result of moving to the new production and administration plant in the industrial park of Niederdorfelden it was possible for the production and management to be united under one roof. In 1995, one week after building work began, Mr. Helmut Grieshaber died. A huge thanks goes to Messrs. Dietmar Kandziora and Norbert Reichenbächer, who, with excellent planning skills, played a significant role and were working tirelessly to establish the 'new company'. In 1996, the 5th generation – Mr. Thomas Grieshaber – entered the company and by 2001 had been appointed Managing Director while Klaus Grieshaber as majority shareholder maintained an advisory role. In 2003, Mr. Peter Seibold was going into well-earned retirement. Further investments in the Niederdorfelden site were advanced. Between 2006 and 2008 three high-quality production and filling plants for fillers and touch-up products were put into operation.
In 2012 König celebrates their 120th anniversary. Many thanks are owed to all 'nest builders' and all employees who, for generations, have contributed to move the company successfully forward.