Past the Wanderer Works

Wanderer works Chemnitz

Today's Wanderer Werke industrial monument in Chemnitz looks back on over 100 years of history as a major German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, delivery vans, machine tools and office machines. In 1885 the company “Chemnitzer Velociped Depót Winklhofer & Jaenicke” was entered in the commercial register by the two company founders, Johann Baptist Winklhofer and Richard Adolf Jaenicke. The two founders took the name "Wanderer" from the name "Rover" which the Englishman John Kemp Starley had given his bicycles. In the early days, the company dealt with the sale and repair of bicycles, which a little later developed into its own production of high bicycles and so the factory production was prepared as early as the winter of 1885/86 and therefore fimed as the “Chemnitz Velocipede” from January 1887 -Factory Winklhofer & Jaenicke ". The local area of ​​19,000 square meters in Chemnitz-Schönau was acquired in 1894, where an administration and warehouse with a 52 meter front, a shed building with 2,500 square meters of usable space, a machine house, a boiler house, a stable and a wagon shed were built. A double house was built for the two entrepreneurs on the opposite side. Around 1900 the Wanderer-Werke held various patents, including for the first German two-speed umbilical gear, and had thus become an important entrepreneur on the bicycle market. In 1899 the production of milling machines went into series. Three years later, in 1902, the first motorcycle production was added, and from 1903 to 1904 the series production of typewriters under the “Continental” brand. Another five years later, in 1909, the production of addition or. Two species calculating machines. The first prototype of the Wanderer automobile was created in 1905, after which further development took place in 1907 and four years later, in 1911, the "Wanderer 5/12 PS Type W2" was shown at the Berlin Motor Show. The W1 was further developed into the W2 with 15 hp in 1913 and the series production of automobiles began in the same year, with further development going up to the W8 5/20 hp until 1927, after which another in the suburb of Sigmar to expand car production Plant was built. Due to pressure from the Dredener Bank, which had granted the Wanderer works loans worth over 5 million Reichsmarks, licenses for the heavy motorcycles were sold to a Swedish engineer in 1931/32. After the Second World War, the Wanderer works were expropriated and until 1948 partially dismantled and brought to the Soviet Union as reparations. The plants were then smashed and reorganized as state-owned enterprises (VEB). The office machine construction of the Wanderer works in Schönau initially became the "VEB Wanderer Continental office machine works under the umbrella of VVB Meschanik". In 1955 the plant was merged with the former Astrawerke AG to form “VEB Büromaschinen Chemnitz”. In 1955, the plant became the “VEB Industriewerk Karl-Marx-Stadt” and was commissioned with the production of aircraft engines. The production of typewriters was handed over to the "Optima Büromaschinenwerk Erfurt" and calculating and accounting machines were henceforth further developed and manufactured in the former Astra works in the VEB booking machine factory in Karl-Marx-Stadt. From 1961, after the sudden end of the GDR's own aircraft construction, hydraulic pumps and pumps were manufactured in the vehicle industry. A small part survived reunification as "Sachsenhydraulik GmbH" and later became part of the US company "Parker-Hannifin". Bicycles with the brand name "Wanderer" were manufactured again from 1998, which happened since 2006 under the leadership of Zei plus GmbH Cologne. Distributed by selected specialist dealers, the bicycles are developed there, manufactured in Germany and Wanderer-Werke only acts as the licensor for the brand name. Since large loans taken out, on which large parts of the company were financed, were not only granted by banks but also between the company's subsidiaries, at some point the deficits could no longer be made up and the Wanderer Group broke up piece by piece and insolvency proceedings were opened in 2010. The branded bicycles "Wanderer" were still produced by Zwei plus Zwei GmbH until 2013 and since 2017 the domain belongs to Hercules GmbH in Cologne, which continues to sell Wanderer bicycles.



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