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Company founder Wilhelm Kämper 1888
- Wilhelm Kämper, born 31 August 1864, purchases the roller from the Noelle brothers’ company in the Rahmede valley, and founds the factory ‘Wilhelm Kämper, Oberrahmede’ in 1888.
- The location is chosen for its closeness to the water power of the Rahmede and the ‘Schnurre’ narrow-gauge railway through the Rahmede valley, between Altena and Lüdenscheid.
- The first article to be manufactured in the factory is the ‘piano hook with eyelet’. Thanks to the sustained demand, this historical article is produced up until the end of the twentieth century and is still sometimes made today.
- Wilhelm Kämper dies in Oberrahmede on 24 December 1907, at the age of 43 years.
- His son, Walter Kämper, born 25 December 1895 in Oberrahmede, is only 12 years old when his father dies.
- Walter Kämper enters the company on 2 January 1919, ushering in its second generation of management.
- The industrialist Walter Kämper dies on 9 August 1968 at the age of 73.
- Like so many others, the only son of Walter Kämper, Friedrich Wilhelm Kämper, born on 1 February 1925, never returns home from the Second World War.
- The Wilhelm Kämper firm celebrates its 75th anniversary in 1963.
- Walter Kämper’s wife, Elly Kämper, née Dresel, manages the firm until her niece, Hannelore Müchler, née Gottlieb, and nephew Wilhelm Richard Kämper take over the company in equal shares in April 1977.
- In November 1977, the firm’s legal form is changed, and is henceforth known as ‘Wilh. Kämper GmbH u. Co. KG (HRA) und Kämper und Müchler Verwaltungsgesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (HRB)’.
- Wilhelm Richard Kämper manages the business on site.
- Hannelore Müchler lives as a housewife and mother in Mülheim an der Ruhr but maintains contact with the firm by performing the payroll accounting, which gives her regular contact with the workforce.
- In May 1990, Thomas Müchler enters the company, representing the fourth generation of management. In August 1991, he becomes managing director and, in April 1992, managing partner.
- Wilhelm Richard Kämper leaves the company.
- By 1992, the company has a workforce of 32 highly motivated and skilled personnel and a turnover of DM 3.2 million.
- In 1992, the company invests in its first CNC controlled hydraulic wire bending machine.
- The investment backlog is resolved and repeated investments are made in buildings and machinery.
- An important pillar of the company is as a supplier of technically complex bent wire components to the automobile industry.
- In December 1998, Kämper – a small SME with a staff of 37 people – successfully gains DIN ISO 9002, QS 9000 and VDA 6.1 quality certification at its first attempt.
- The world economic crisis of 2008 also affected Kämper, with sales showing a drop of 40% from October 2008 to July 2009.
- Thanks to its motivated and team-oriented workforce, the company achieved a sales record of 10 million euros in the year 2011.
- In September 2013, Wilh. Kämper celebrates its 125th anniversary in the newly built logistics hall.