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Story no.1

1877: how it all began

There was a special connection behind our company’s foundation

How a romantic relationship led to the foundation of our company

On 6 January 1877, Wilhelm Böllhoff, son of a master tailor from the small Westphalian town of Herdecke, laid the foundation for our group of companies by founding an ironmongery wholesale business. Much like his nails and screws would create connections from now on, this very beginning of our company’s history was also based on a connection. A very special one in fact: a romantic relationship.

It all began even before 1877 – with Anna, a farmer’s daughter from the nearby area of Wittbräucke.

Wilhelm Böllhoff, still working as a travelling ironmongery salesman at the time, fell in love with Anna. Her father, however, had a precise idea of what a suitable man for his daughter should be like if he intended to marry her. He should be self-employed and settled. And so in 1877, after 10 years of travelling around as a salesman, Wilhelm Böllhoff set up his own business in Herdecke. One year later, in 1878, he married Anna.

Wilhelm Böllhoff was now self-employed and married, but he was far from being completely settled. He sometimes travelled long distances to his national clientele in the years to come, only with a stagecoach and a few boxes of screws and nails in his luggage. Even as far as Bavaria and Brandenburg. The basis for our current expertise in the global trade of fasteners, it can already be seen here.

Wilhelm and Anna Böllhoff

Our history in three and a half minutes

145 years of Böllhoff – that means countless successful connections. Our fasteners were used, for example, in the fastest Atlantic steamer of the 1920s. In the lunar module that brought Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the dusty surface of the moon in 1969. And over the decades, of course, also in some iconic cars.

Many successful connections, both large and small, have enabled us to constantly develop as a company. In this video we would like to show you some of the most important milestones of our 145-year company history.