The history of Stahlkontor

Steel construction history down the years

The company Stahlkontor was established in 1951 as a spin-off of the steel trading and export division of Stahlwerke Hagen AG by one of its former executive directors Heinrich Wiedow. The company has a long tradition which dates back to the year 1853 and includes a large number of predecessor companies. As Harkort-Eicken Edelstahlwerke GmbH, it was part of the Dortmunder Hoesch AG and the Vereinigten Stahlwerke AG since 1925 and 1931 respectively.

 

Defence manufacturing and trading company

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Hoesch AG was founded as Harkort & Eicken GmbH in Wetter/Ruhr in the year 1933/34. In the course of the national-socialistic rearmament policy, there was an expansion of the plants in Hagen-Wehringhausen, Hagen-Eckesey and Wetter in the following years. During World War II, the locations were among the most important suppliers for the Germany tank-building program. Production included hulls and assembly parts for tanks as well as accessories for cannons. In 1944, around 40 percent of the complete production of hulls and superstructures for assault guns was carried out at Harkort & Eicken.

With the “break-up” of the German iron and steel industry by the Allied Military Government, the factory in Hagen was separated from the Hoesch Group in 1947 and renamed Stahlwerke Hagen AG. Following the management buyout by Heinrich Wiedow, this led to the introduction of Stahlkontor as a trading company specializing in alloyed and stainless steel.

 

Return to alloyed steel processing and specialization

In 1969, Georg Schmitz (with the company Schwarze KG) and Erich Kramer purchased the GmbH shares in Stahlkontor through Schmitz Beteiligungs- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH. They put the emphasis back on the working and processing of steel and invested in corresponding processing facilities. The first laser and water-jet systems were put into operation in the middle of the 1980s.

Contacts to the companies of Hoesch and Thyssen resulted in orders for the processing of armored steel and amagnetic steel for submarines and provided the possibility for rapidly regaining expertise in defence technology. With its modern production plants and technical experience, Stahlkontor is now one of the leading international contract manufacturers in both the civil and military sectors.