THE BEGINNINGS OF THE COMPANY– 120 YEARS OF ZR PART 1/7

In the first part of our online series, we would like to take you back to the founding of our company and the first decades of Zimmer + Rohde – known back then as Marx & Rohde. This will give you an insight into the first part of our company’s anniversary exhibition. A small section of this exhibition is currently being presented in our showroom at our headquarters in Oberursel.

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The company Marx & Rohde – which would later go on to be better known as Zimmer + Rohde – was founded by Ernst Rohde and Max Marx in December 1899. The company started life as a textile  trading company and rapidly established contacts throughout Europe. In spite of an impending economic crisis, the international company moved to larger business premises in 1906 and managed to build on its long-term business relationships, even in these difficult circumstances.

During the financial crisis that emerged around 1906, Marx & Rohde was so profitable that different banks offered securities in the form of company shares. The fabrics distributed by the company during this time were lavishly decorated hand-embroidered or woven products, such as lampas fabrics. This sumptuous weaving method gave rise to opulent floral patterns and embellishments, which in turn gave interiors and decorative fabrics a certain charm and sense of prestige.

Both founders initially travelled for two to three months at a time to present their elegantly handembroidered and lavishly decorated fabrics to customers in person. From the 1930s onwards, official representatives travelled on the behalf of the company owners. Exports during this period were primarily to countries in Eastern Europe.

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In 1919 Georg Zimmer joins the company after marrying Ernst Rohde’s daughter.A few years later – in 1925 – he becomes Max Marx’s business partner and establishes new contacts abroad. In the year 1933 Max Marx dies a few days after the National Socialists take power.Shortly afterwards, in 1941, the Nazis order the company name to be changed to Zimmer + Rohde.

Horst Zimmer, son of Georg Zimmer, joins the company in 1945. The effects of the Second World War push the company to embark on a new beginning. After the death of his father Georg Zimmer, Horst Zimmer takes control of the company in 1950. His friendly and open personality strengthens trade relations and motivates employees.

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In the next part of our online series you will learn how Zimmer + Rohde developed  in the 50s and 60s, how Taunus Textildruck was founded and what the artist Janosch has to do with Zimmer + Rohde.

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