Today's worldwide market leader in vacuum technology began its impressive development 150 years ago as the modest commission and forwarding business of Ernst Leybold(1827-1907), who was dealing in foreign wines and assorted apothecary wares such as medicine glasses, ointment jars, thermometers and scales. In 1854 he expanded his line of merchandise to include physical, pharmaceutical and chemical apparatuses. In response to a growing need and demand, in 1867 he set up a glass-blowing operation and a mechanical workshop. That was the beginning of his manufacture of physical devices for use in teaching science and in the laboratory.
In 1870 Ernst Leybold retired and sold the company to Emil Schmidt and Otto Ladendorff, who renamed it "E. Leybold's Nachfolger".
In 1906 the renamed company began its extremely successful collaboration with Dr. Wolfgang Gaede(1878-1945), professor of physics at the college of technology in Karlsruhe.
The fruits of his collaboration with the firm's management -- with Alfred Schmitt (until 1931) and with his successor and son-in-law Dr. Manfred Dunkel (who was in charge until 1967) -- included in particular two highly successful innovations: the molecular air pump(1911) and the diffusion pump(1913). Thus early on the company demonstrated an ability to originate superior products, which all now occupy a place of honor in the history of technology.
In the early 1930s a Leybold logo was created for the first time, a striking company symbol, which remained unchanged until 1967 and became closely linked to the Leybold name.
In 1948 Metallgesellschaft AG acquired an interest in E. Leybold's Nachfolger, as did also Degussa AG in 1955.
At the beginning of the 60s the company introduced into the market a number of newly developed products. These included cryogenic pumps with liquid helium along with helium leak detectors (1962) followed by the first models of a series of sputter-ion pumps (1963).
Years of intense fruitful collaboration between E. Leybold's Nachfolger and the Hanau-based firm of W.C. Heraeus GmbH eventuated in 1967 in a merger of E.Leybold's Nachfolger with Heraens Hochvakuum GmbH(English: "Heraeus High Vacuum, Ltd."). The new company was named Leybold-Heraeus GmbH, and its shares were divided equally among Degussa, Metallgesellschaft and W.C. Heraeus.
The year 1987 brought significant changes in the company's ownership. First Metallgesellschaft disposed of its shares as it itself underwent restructuring. Then W.C. Heraeus sold off its shares, leaving Degussa as the sole stockholder. Effective 1 October 1987 Leybold Heraeus was renamed Leybold AktienGesellschaft (English: "Leyblold Corporation"), or Leybold AG for short, and company headquarters moved from Cologne to Hanau.
Leybold Heraeus GmbH:
The merger resulted in a virtually ideally well-rounded line of products, blending the Colognebased international leadership in vacuum technology with the Hanau-based expertise in vacuumprocess engineering. At this time the company's volume of sales was running at about 100 million marks.
The period immediately after 1967 saw an expansion of the plants in both Cologne and Hanau, an enlargement of the sales and service network and a stronger presence in world markets. New production facilities were created and/or existing ones expanded in German(Hanau, Clolgne, Alzenau and Hürth), in the U.S. (Export, Pennsylvania; Enfield, Connecticut; and Syracuse, New York), and in Valence(France).
The growing importance of the Asian market was acknowledged by Leybold Heraeus GmbH with its founding of two sales and service companies in Japan. In the mid-80s the original nucleus of the Leybold company, instructional materials for teaching science, was given a home of its own in Hürth near Cologne with the founding there of Leybold Didactic GmbH.
Especially the period of the 1980s was marked by rapid growth. By 1987 the company had sales of over a billion marks thanks to the good work of its about 5,600 employees wordwide.
|Leybold Vakuum GmbH - subsidiary of Balzers und Leybold Deutschland Holding AG|
The idea of merging Balzers and Leybold was not new. An initiative in that direction had been undertaken by Leybold as far back as 1957.