Pioneering work in the Black Forest
Master clothier Hans Grohe (1871-1955) was an innovator. In 1899 he moved from Luckenwalde near Berlin to the small Black Forest town of Schiltach. Two years later he turned his back on weaving and established a metal pressing workshop. Hans Grohe had a passion for water, and so from 1901 onwards he bravely hedged his bets on the sanitary sector, which was still in its early stages of development. Of course, bathrooms in private houses were only just becoming fashionable at that time. He specialised in tin showers, thus laying the foundations for untold success. During the course of the 20th century, Hans Grohe’s small three-man operation in the Kinzig valley developed into a global company. Today it is one of the international innovation and market leaders for mixers and showers.
When showering became popular or: a German success story
By the mid-20th century in Germany, for broad segments of the population it was still sheer luxury to have their own bathroom. Hans Grohe considered the shower an affordable alternative to the bath. Right from the outset, it formed part of the product range in his metal pressing plant. And in the decades to come, he devoted himself passionately and painstakingly to further developing his showers. In doing so, he proved that he had a good nose for business – shaping shower culture far beyond the borders of the Black Forest.
From 1928, Hans Grohe’s hand shower became a convenient alternative to the then customary overhead shower. Hans Grohe became a shower specialist and pioneer for the German sanitary industry. For many decades his craftsmanship and design set the trends. Even as an 82-year-old, this visionary invented something trend-setting: the wall bar, to which the hand shower can be attached at the desired height. Today it is common in bathrooms all over the world – in 1953 it was a stroke of bathroom genius.
Would you like to find out more about the Schiltach think-tank inventions? Here you will find Hansgrohe's innovation history – milestones in shower craftsmanship.