Crest of the Vöster family
The locksmith Viktor Gretsch becomes the third member of the team. With him, the Hinderer brothers establish „Gretsch & Co. GmbH“. The product range is continuously expanded. In addition to fittings for tramcars and railway carriages, the ideas factory celebrates lasting successes with the Augusta fanlight opener, the linear ball bearing guides Perkeo and Apoll and the floor spring STOP, in particular.
The two energetic pioneers of the emerging industrial sector, Oskar and Hugo Hinderer, take over the factory of their uncle, Friedrich Carl Bauer. Inventiveness and business acumen are combined. They strive for a utilisation of the company‘s capacity that is independent of the seasons: in the summer, the first version of our ski bindings is produced; in the winter, it is hardware.
Three entrepreneurs create the foundations for today‘s GEZE GmbH: the master turner Georg Friedrich Vöster with the turnery „Vöster & Co.“ in Göppingen and the mechanic Max Wessinger in conjunction with the businessman Friedrich Carl Bauer with the hardware company „Friedrich Carl Bauer“ in Stuttgart-Feuerbach. The two lines of the company‘s heritage do not (yet) know one another - it is a few years before they come together.
The mechanical engineer Reinhold Vöster - grandson of Georg Friedrich Vöster - founds the company „Vöster & Müller“ in Feuerbach. The product range of Vereinigte Baubeschlägfabrik Gretsch & Co. GmbH is extended by door closers and hold-open systems for doors and windows.
Establishment of a factory in Vienna
The company moves into the building of Vöster & Müller in Feuerbach. At the same time, the building is expanded.
Irrespective of the global economic crisis, „Gretsch & Co.“ products are still on course for success. The refined linear ball bearing guide Perkeo opens up transportation companies as a market. In the buses and trams of the European metropolises, in ships and even in Zeppelins, transport fittings are now indispensable.
The first Apprentice Department is established with state-of-the-art machinery.
In the spirit of optimism of the 50s, the stage is set for growth. Production figures soar. An additional plant is established. With the support of his son Walter, also a graduate in engineering, Reinhold Vöster can concentrate on new developments and advancements again. The lifting door fitting Huba comes onto the market and is a successful model.
Foundation of an additional production site. Business is going well, so well that space has to be created for production. In Boxberg-Schweigern near Würzburg, Ziegelei- und Apparatebau GmbH is up for sale with its buildings and land. A branch is set up here for the production of door closers and the Perkeo sliding door fitting.
Reinhold Vöster dies at the age of 84. Before his death, he passes on his life‘s work to his granddaughter Brigitte Vöster, who becomes the sole shareholder. She starts a process of growth which is characterised by new technologies and internationalisation to this day. GEZE experiences above average increases in turnover and income.
A brand name becomes the company name. The logo „G.C.“ on the packing cases of „Gretsch & Co.“ – used in speech for years – provides the new name. Thus, „Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch & Co. GmbH“ officially becomes „GEZE GmbH“. Since the 1980s, the product policy has been focussed on solutions for doors and windows.
Augusta, the fanlight opener for opening a high window, is new in around 1901. The operation of Augusta with a drawstring makes easy operation possible even in tight spaces. A horizontal casement weighing up to 50 kg can be lifted out of its frame without any effort with Augusta as a "single cord system".
The linear ball bearing guide Perkeo is characterised by its tiny dimensions and can stand up to heavy door leaves. Perkeo has been in the product range since 1901. The linear ball bearing guide gains a global reputation from 1928 when it takes over buses, trams, ships and even Zeppelin airships. It has continued to be developed to this day and is used as a complete unit on single and double leaf sliding door systems, whenever durable, extremely resilient and precise guides are required, e.g. in industrial systems or in vehicle construction.
"Fax" fanlight opener
The company relocates to the aspiring industrial location of Feuerbach.
Advertisement for "Perkeo" sliding door fitting in trams
A new shareholder brings fresh air to Vereinigte Baubeschlägfabrik Gretsch & Co. GmbH. Reinhold Vöster joins the company, which has been called „Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch & Co. GmbH“ since 1914. Under his technical management, the product range is modernised and extended. Fittings for folding and sliding windows, ventilation systems for factory buildings, smoke extraction systems and fittings for lifting, folding and double-action doors as well as for garage gates are now also produced.
Victor Gretsch leaves the company. Two companies exist with an identical production programme: the Hinderer brothers merge the two companies Friedrich Carl Bauer and Gretsch & Co. GmbH. The result is „Vereinigte Baubeschlägfabrik Gretsch & Co. GmbH“.
The innovative Kandahar cable binding becomes a best-seller in the 1930s. It guarantees the safe guidance of the ski. It is particularly suitable for downhill skiing, as Kandahar affects a very high degree of heel pull and is adjustable. Using hooks, the cable tension can be adapted for the respective skiing discipline.
350 employees celebrate the 75th jubilee of the company - by now a recognised medium-sized company. Three product lines have emerged: hardware, transport fittings and winter sports products. Exports are already an important success factor in the 1930’s.
Advertisement for "Perkeo" sliding door fitting in trams
Georg Amann, Sales Manager, with Reinhold Vöster (left) with a "Huba" prototype.
The GC logo is used for the first time and leads to the current company name GEZE in 1980.
Christel Cranz and Franz Pfnür win gold medals in the Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with the ski binding Kandahar. Kandahar becomes the binding of choice on all ski slopes.
In the booming housing construction of the 1950s and '60s, it is not just in Germany that almost every balcony, patio door and sash window is opened or closed with the lifting fitting HUBA. Its particular benefit is complete air-tightness, combined with a ventilation function as a result of the door or window being bottom-hung. HUBA is easy to operate, as only a lever has to be used. The sales of HUBA are sometimes measured in tonnes, rather than numbers of items - that is how successful the product is.
At the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley in California, everyone is talking about GEZE ski bindings. The speed skier Heidi Biebl wins the gold medal with GEZE Olymp.
In the 1950s, the winter sports products experience a boom. GEZE Olymp, the first toe release safety binding developed by Walter Vöster, is presented. He plays a decisive role in the strived for further development of the company, which makes a fundamental rationalisation and expansion of the production facilities necessary.
Apprentice workshop and new gate in Leonberg
"Topstar" safety control
The most important message for the 100th jubilee: success remains true to the company. Walter Vöster dies unexpectedly in April at the age of 48. But life has to go on. At the jubilee celebration in October, the foundations of the new administration building are laid. Under the management of Reinhold Vöster, „Gretsch & Co“ has become a modern company with almost 900 employees. The 60s mark the start of the era of automatic door drives.
The production facilities in Feuerbach can no longer stand up to the demand and the rapidly changing times in the long run. Sufficient space for putting new ideas into practice can be found in Leonberg. A new factory is built there between 1959 and 1963, according to the latest considerations of rational production.
When the manual fanlight opener OL 100, a masterpiece of modern product design comes onto the market at the start of the 1980s. The technology - hitherto openly visible - is now concealed. The aluminium housing is imperceptibly connected to the window profile, meaning that the OL 100 is particularly suited to the aluminium windows emerging at this time. With the multiple-scissor version, the area of application of fanlight openers can also be automated and extended to large and heavy windows.
The first automatic floor spring TSA 100 for swing doors is a technological quantum leap that rings in the era of automatic door opening in the 1960s. Whilst the action mechanism of door closers was hitherto based solely on the hydraulic principle, the new floor spring TSA 100 is operated by an electric motor. The motor and the drives are housed together in a cement box in the floor. The door now opens automatically with the help of a floor contact mat.
In the middle of the 1990s, it is really possible to do business with automatic doors. Automatic sliding, swing and revolving doors have been part of the product range since then.
In the middle of the 1980s, GEZE launches a complete innovation from the field of safety technology onto the market. With the new emergency exit system, GEZE satisfies the constantly growing requirement for safety and is once again one of the technological pioneers on the market. To this day, the emergency exit system is being developed into a comprehensive system solution, with the GEZE door control units as the "brain".
In order to equip the company for the future, Brigitte Vöster-Alber abandons the popular ski product line. A difficult decision - but GEZE can now concentrate fully on modern door closing systems. The export business is expanded further.
„Gretsch & Co.“ equips all the buildings of the Olympic Village in Munich with the lifting door fitting Huba, which has achieved a market share of up to 95 per cent by now.
The company‘s 125th jubilee - now with 850 employees and new subsidiaries in Switzerland, France, Italy and Great Britain, GEZE is on a course of international expansion. The door closer TS 5000 with guide rail sets standards. In the middle of the 1980s, GEZE, with its new emergency exit system, launches a complete innovation in the field of safety technology onto the market.
The Chief Executive Officer, Brigitte Vöster-Alber, celebrates her 40th jubilee with the company. With the expansion of its logistics and storage capacity, GEZE is responding to the excellent order situation and its growth worldwide. A subsidiary is established in Hungary.
With a subsidiary in the Chinese port of Tianjin as a sales and production site, GEZE is reacting to the ever growing demand in the Asian market and strengthening its competitive position. Today, almost 450 employees work there very successfully.
The overhead door closer TS 5000 with guide rail sets standards in technical perfection. The closing force can be infinitely adjusted. The computer-calculated curved form of the pinion gear, the heat resistant closing speed and back check that can be adjusted from the front and the hydraulic latching action guarantee flexibility and the highest technical standards at the end of the 1980s.
GEZE Service shines with new lustre: due to continuous growth, GEZE Service GmbH occupies a newly constructed building on the company's premises.
The „integrated all-glass system“ GEZE IGG is introduced.
Official opening of the new technology centre. Innovative products and systems are developed in this ideas factory.
The subsidiary GEZE Austria is established in Salzburg.
The subsidiary GEZE Sonderkonstruktionen is established in Boxberg-Schweigern. Sophisticated sliding and revolving doors and all-glass solutions are created here.
The subsidiary GEZE Service GmbH is established. Today, there are around 120 employees conducting training courses, installation and maintenance work.
A milestone of GEZE product design: with the Slimdrive SL, a sliding door drive with a drive height of only seven centimetres is presented for the first time.
GEZE is granted the TOP 100 award and is one of the 100 outstanding medium-sized companies in Germany.
After ten years of direct involvement in China, the subsidiary in Tianjin celebrates 10 successful years in business. In addition, the production site is extended by the business segment special constructions.
GEZE is continuously growing and is now also represented in Dubai, South Africa, Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
It is through intelligent new products, in particular, that GEZE is able to maintain its position as one of the world's leading providers of systems for door, window and safety technology. This requires highly qualified and dedicated specialists. This is why GEZE supports its employees through a human resources management system that is continuously being scrutinised and optimised. GEZE has received a number of awards for this, including a Top Employer award in Germany in 2008 and 2011.
GEZE establishes a subsidiary in India as one of the most important markets of the future. Dominant market positions are achieved with refined product lines, including design glass fittings, integrated all-glass systems and a new guide rail technology.
Vetroslide is awarded the "red dot" seal of approval for premium design quality by an expert panel in the Architecture and Interior Design product category of the "product design" discipline of the competition.
The Chief Executive Officer, Brigitte Vöster-Alber, receives the Order of Merit for her particular dedication as an entrepreneur and for her outstanding social and cultural service.
GEZE develops and creates innovative product solutions for the building technology. Due to the high quality standards, GEZE products guarantee comfort and safety and contribute to worldwide innovative building concepts.
GEZE intensifies its sales and service activities in Eastern Europe. In Zrenjanin in Serbia, an additional production site goes into operation.
If you are particularly interested in fire prevention and solutions in the area of smoke and heat extraction systems (RWA)? Then we hope you enjoy the demonstration of the functioning of the GEZE product solutions in our smoke and heat extraction film.
The Vetroslide is awarded the "red dot" seal of approval for premium design quality by an expert panel in the Architecture and Interior Design product category of the "product design" discipline of the competition.
GEZE is granted the TOP 100 award again and is one of the 100 outstanding medium-sized companies in Germany.
The company expands into an ultramodern distribution centre in Leonberg.
GEZE extends its local presence throughout the world by establishing two new subsidiaries in Turkey and Russia.
GEZE is one of the world‘s market leaders and is represented in 110 countries in the world with 2500 employees, 30 subsidiaries and a comprehensive sales and service network.
The door closer GEZE TS 5000 ECline with guide rail has been awarded with the grade „good“.
GEZE products satisfy the criteria of „barrier-free use“ and „universal design“: the swing door drive GEZE ECturn is granted an award by the German Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
GEZE remains loyal to its headquarters in Leonberg. Due to increasing numbers of employees, it expands into a new administration building and a new facility management building.
Sustainability is value-enhancing. Due to an increasing scarcity of resources and increasing energy costs, sustainable building and the energy-efficient operation of buildings are becoming a substantial requirement. GEZE products have a positive impact on an LEED or DGNB building certification.
Environmental aspects are taken into consideration consistently. The improvement of the ecology of the products, of the production processes and facilities is a permanent task. GEZE's environmental management was successfully certified in accordance with the globally valid standard DIN EN ISO 14001. Our own environmental protection officer constantly provides new solutions for reducing energy consumption and dealing with limited resources responsibly.
As a system provider, GEZE produces products and system solutions from one source that combine individual requirements in one system and open and close doors and windows in a coordinated manner.
Slimchain is the star of the new chain drive generation, which is introduced in 2012. The strengths of the all-rounder are its wide range of applications, its "slim" design, intelligent control and networking options. With its modern control technology, the Slimchain can also be optimally tailored to different requirements in the case of smoke and heat extraction and for building ventilation.
GEZE in motion since 1863. Thank you for 150 years of confidence. We will remain in motion for you. With commitment and passion.