The history of a long-established company

A retrospect by Leonhard Siebenwurst

Siebenwurst 1897My grandfather, Leonhard Siebenwurst (1846—1913), founded a model construction shop in Nuremberg on 19th May 1897. In Fabrikstrasse 38, he started off with one assistant and one manually-operated lathe. He produced wooden models for use in the manufacture of cast-iron parts. When he died on 15th July 1913, eight model makers were working in the company.

My grandfather also assisted a relative, Mr. Maurer, owner of the “Maurer Motorfahrzeugfabrik Union” company. This company built the first motor vehicles in Nuremberg. Maurer had already delivered his first cars before the turn of the century.

After my grandfather died, my grandmother ran the company until her two sons, Karl Christian and Johann Friedrich, took over. In the 1930s, my father, Karl Christian Siebenwurst, parted ways with his brother and opened his own model construction company in Nuremberg/Wörth. In 1940, my father moved his model making business to Celtisplatz, to the south of Nuremberg's central station. By this time, the number of model makers had reached about 40. Complete destruction followed in March 1943, after which work resumed in a makeshift production facility.

This was also destroyed at the end of 1943, along with all the company's documents. Until the end of 1943, 1:1 foundry models of Messerschmitt planes for wind tunnel flow measurements were manufactured from wood. After the complete destruction of the Nuremberg production plant, the company was moved to Dietfurt towards the end of 1943. About 25 Nuremberg employees also moved to Dietfurt. Work began in a set of wooden barracks.

When the war ended in 1945, the foundry collapsed. This meant that my father had to switch to carpentry, manufacturing windows and doors, for example. Towards the end of the 1940s, there was again a need for foundry models, and we resumed production. The number of model makers at Siebenwurst increased again, and we began training apprentices at a very early stage (we were already training our first model makers in the 1940s). The first foreman was Mr. Biller, who came with us from Nuremberg to Dietfurt. In the early 1950s, Siebenwurst produced the first aluminium foundry models for large-scale production. Mould construction using steel tools emerged from this. Firstly, chill-mouldings were produced from grey cast iron and steel for casting chill-cast aluminium parts.

At the end of the 1950s, mould construction for plastic moulds also emerged. Siebenwurst first produced press moulds, to which injection moulds were later added. Halls then had to be built to cope with the rapid growth of this sector. Copying and milling machines required the highest investments. Increasing numbers of apprentices were trained. We often had 40—50 apprentices for the three-and-a-half-year training period.

Today, there are about 400 employees in our company, which is one of the most important employers in the region. We provide our employees with good prospects and secure jobs. Thanks to our products, we rank among the most important and best in the sector. Our corporate principle is based on this history: “We are the most competent problem solver for our customers – from the design model through to series production”.