Papermaking has a long tradition in Gengenbach, dating back to the Middle Ages. From 1490 to 1705, the "papiermühlin beym gutleuthaus" produced paper of the highest quality, which was supplied mainly to printers in Strasbourg, but also to merchants in northern Germany, Holland and Belgium.
Birth of the "Vatter" - Albert Köhler
Albert Köhler, whom his workers will later reverently call the "Vatter", is born on 12 July in Fulda. He completes his apprenticeship in a weaving mill and comes to Strasbourg as a young merchant.
Köhler acquires factory
Albert Köhler, together with his partner Jakob Marz, acquires the Gengenbach cardboard factory built in 1873. As the partnership agreement shows, the beginnings are modest. Nevertheless, a strawboard factory is built next to the handmade cardboard factory in the same year.
Expansion & Modernisation
Jakob Marz leaves the company. Albert Köhler, now the sole owner, determinedly begins to expand and modernise the company.
Albert Köhler takes up the production of luminous metal-glass mosaics in order to be able to make economic use of the months when cardboard drying is not possible due to bad weather. However, the company does not achieve the hoped-for financial success and production is discontinued.
Sons take over company
Albert Köhler dies at the age of 62. First his wife Katinka becomes personally liable partner, then his sons Julius and Franz Köhler, who had both passed their exams as paper machine engineers in Köthen, take over the management of the company alone.
Flats for employees
The Köhler company builds company flats for its workers, unusual for the time.
Lack of raw materials during the war
During the Second World War, production initially continued. One after the other, straw and handmade cardboard production had to be discontinued in 1944/45 due to a lack of coal, raw materials and labour. On 18.04.1945 Gengenbach is occupied by the French.
In 1946/47, cardboard production is resumed.
Günther Junk takes over management
After the death of Franz Köhler (1962) and Julius Köhler (1966), Günther Junk, Julius Köhler's son-in-law, takes over the sole management. He has been part of the company since 1949.
The end of strawboard
Strawboard production is completely discontinued. Strawboard no longer meets the demands of customers.
New, larger production hall
A new, larger hall is being built over the old automation hall before the old building is demolished. This way, the machines remain protected and production can continue almost unhindered despite the reconstruction.
The Köhler Factory Museum
A small museum is being set up in the former turbine house of the Köhler company, housing documents, pictures and objects from the company's long history.
Son Hans-Henning Junk becomes managing director
Dipl. Ing. Hans-Henning Junk, Günther Junk's son, joins the company in 1986 as a further managing director and has been the sole managing director since his retirement in 1996.
Project: Fashion made of paper
The Köhler Company supports the art project "Forms of Hierarchy" of the Fashion Design Department of the University of Applied Sciences Trier, which is realised in cooperation with the Association of German Paper Factories. The fashion made of paper and cardboard will be presented at a show in Frankfurt am Main in November 1997. The "Warrior" and "High Priest" models made from Köhler products are exhibited in the Köhler company museum.
Own wastewater treatment plant to protect the environment
In order to protect the environment and reduce the increased wastewater costs, we invested in a new wastewater treatment plant in 2010. With Siemens Industrie Solutions, we had a competent partner and developer at our side. A completely new type of water treatment plant was created for the cardboard industry worldwide, which had to be integrated into the running cycle and the existing plant.
Nicola Turri (Dipl. Betriebswirt FH) appointed as additional Managing Director
The management is now formed by Mr. Hans-Hennig Junk and Mr. Nicola Turri.
New angular circular shear
In the course of renewals in the company, the old angular circular shear 1 was dismantled. The new angular circular shear (WKS 3) from the Kolbus company was put into operation on 04th October 2019.
Change of partners
The partners Ms. Ines Wirthner, Mrs. Annette Wohlleben, Mr. Harald Wohlleben, Mrs. Claudia Junk-Hettler as well as Mr. Holger Junk as limited partners leave Albert Köhler GmbH Co KG.
Their limited partner shares were taken over by Mr. Nicola Turri and Mr. Christian Geiger, who are now partners together with Mr. Hans-Henning Junk and Mr. Wolfgang Junk.
Thomas Dörfer receives procuration
The technical manager Mr. Thomas Dörfer receives procuration and is a member of the management.
Change of corporate form
Albert Köhler GmbH & Co. KG becomes Köhlerpappen GmbH. In the course of the change of corporate form, the previous managing director Mr. Hans-Henning Junk leaves the company. He remains loyal to the company and will act as consultant and managing director of Köhler & Co. GmbH. Mr. Geiger is appointed managing director and manages the company together with Mr. Turri.
Dismantling and last production on gluing machine 2
With the dismantling of gluing machine 2 on 17th September 2021, a long-standing and successful production field will come to an end for us. Köhlerpappen GmbH is thus reacting to current market developments. However, our adhesive products will remain in the range and will be produced for us by an adhesive specialist.
Last roll production
Last roll production on the fourdrinier machine and dismantling of the reel on the fourdrinier machine.
Sustainable into the future
Our planet Earth obliges us to be sustainable. We cannot continue to rigorously exploit nature, we must begin to understand and to respect it. Köhlerpappen accepts this environmental challenge.