Three months after the end of the Second World War in August 1945, graduate engineer Dr. Walter Heinrich submitted his first plans for setting up a glass-works to the American military authorities in Limburg an der Lahn in Germany. Approval for building the factory was issued rapidly because the country urgently needed all types of glass. As a result, the ground was broken for Glashütte Limburg as early as 28 September 1945.
Due to the lack of power and the difficulty in obtaining materials during the immediate post-war period, construction was initially slow. However, on 12 May 1947 the glass-works finally held its first topping-out ceremony, and barely 2 months later, on 7 July 1947, Dr. Heinrich used the blowpipe to take the first glass smelted in Limburg.
Glasshüttenwerke Limburg GmbH
Initially, the company was called Glasshüttenwerke Limburg GmbH and employed 80 people. The production range covered drinking vessels, mugs and many other types of catering glasses.
Production capacities were increased and Glashütte Limburg became Europe’s largest lighting glass specialist within just a few years, employing almost 1000 people.
The rapid expansion reached its limits at the end of the 1950s. The chairman of the glass-works Supervisory Council, Dr. Gottfried Boley, suggested in 1962 that the shares in the company held by the state of Hessen should be privatised.
In the same year, the company succeeded in winning BEGA Gantenbrink-Leuchten OHG, founded in 1945 – which was at that time already one of the largest companies in the German lighting industry – as its ideal partner.
The very first lighting catalogue of Glashütte Limburg appears in 1963.
Six luminaires from the range, presented for the first time in 1964 at the Hanover industrial trade fair, receive awards for excellent design from the Industry Forum and are included in the special exhibition “gute Industrieform” (good industrial design).
40 years after the first catalogue appeared, the range of lamps from Glashütte Limburg has increased to 1800 different products.
Many lamps of the company were designed by the Designabteilung Glashütte Limburg (design department) or Atelier Glashütte Limburg. Herbert Proft and Heinz-Josef Ohm designed many awarded lamps.
One of the best known designers was Helena Tynell who created several lamps for the company. Her most famous are the bubble glass lamps series. Helena Tynell (1918 – 2016) was married to the famous designer Paavo Tynell (1890-1973).
The Glashütte Limburg company received the state prize for “Gute Form 1982” (good design 1982) and the “Corporate Design Award 1985”.
Glashütte Limburg received 160 iF Design Awards.
Links (external links open in a new window)
If Design Awards for Glashütte Limburg
Many thanks to Jens for the catalogue.