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Story No. 3

Early 1950s: the screw banker

In our latest story, you will learn more about an early company mascot of ours

An early Böllhoff mascot: the screw banker

One small mascot not everybody liked

A screw head in the literal sense, a B for Böllhoff as its body and the logo of the Wilhelm Böllhoff company on its chest – that is the screw banker, an early mascot of our company. In our next story from 145 years of Böllhoff, you will find out why the screw banker led to a small marital quarrel shortly after its creation and only reappeared for our 145th company anniversary in 2022.

As company manager of the second family generation, Josef Böllhoff had to cope with the aftermath of two world wars. Like so many other people, he was then forced to start over again from ruins. His special sense for business and his distinct imagination were two features that helped him in the process.

„As imaginative as my father was, he had the idea to call himself a screw banker one day.“

Portrait of Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff
Dr Wolfgang W. Böllhoff Honorary chairman of the Böllhoff Group’s advisory council
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Josef Böllhoff’s son Wolfgang, third generation company manager from 1962 to 2004, vividly remembers the time when the screw banker was born

“I was 10 years old when the Second World War ended. In the years that followed, I gradually got to hear more and more things around our company - things that I can still remember today. Like the marital quarrel about the screw banker. My parents didn’t have many quarrels, but that was one. (laughs)

As imaginative as my father was, he had the idea to call himself a screw banker one day. ‘I have a large assortment, I have to change, I have to hand out – I am the screw banker’, he then said. He asked Wilhelm Heiner, an artist friend from Bielefeld, to design the screw banker mascot for him and used it on price lists and brochures. Full of enthusiasm, he then took his idea to my mother - and she was stunned, modest as she was. I can still hear her words: ‘What are people supposed to say when you say something like that about yourself? Screw banker, terrible. How can you dare to call yourself a screw banker? People will think we are crazy and arrogant.’ My father loved my mother very much and her opinion meant a lot to him. So afterwards the brochures quickly disappeared into the archives – and with them the screw banker.”

The screw banker today

As a small piece of Böllhoff history, the screw banker has taken its place today, in celebration of our company’s 145th anniversary, alongside two of our best-known fasteners: the RIPP LOCK® self-locking washer and the HELICOIL® Smart thread insert. Welcome back, screw banker!

The screw banker on an anniversary banner at the Böllhoff headquarters in Bielefeld
The screw banker on an anniversary banner at the Böllhoff headquarters in Bielefeld

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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.