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Updated by C. Brandauer on Jan 30, 2018
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Brandauer – From 1862 to 2018

With a history dating back to 1862, Brandauer is one of Birmingham’s longest established engineering companies and continues to be family owned. With the business having operated in three different centuries, the company has seen many changes and weathered many difficult times, developing to be one of the largest contract presswork and stampings companies in Europe. Here we look at the story from Brandauer’s beginning, right up to 2018.

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The end of the Brandauer/Petit partnership

The end of the Brandauer/Petit partnership

The Brandauer and Petit families worked together with great success for more than 50 years, with several generations of each family actively involved in the business. Charles Brandauer, the company’s founder passed away in 1899 and in May 1914, Joseph Letière Petit passed away aged 87. Just weeks later, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered the First World War. This had disastrous consequences for the Brandauer family.

With the Government passing a number of “Trading with the Enemy” Acts, Frederick Brandauer and his nephew Hermann were removed as directors and any shares of the company owned by Brandauer family members were confiscated by the Board of Trade. Whilst Joseph Petit Jr was summoned to appear before a House of Commons committee that believed the company should be sold, Joseph was able to convince them that the company should remain as it was conducting itself properly.

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From pen production into a new era

From pen production into a new era

After a hundred years of pen production, with demand for traditional pens down and the electronics age opening up new opportunities for Brandauer, production of pen nibs ceased in 1961. From then on, Brandauer developed into an advanced presswork specialist, supplying pressed metal components for Concorde, computers and many diverse applications in between.

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In the 21st Century

In the 21st Century

Brandauer now supplies an ever-expanding range of precision metal presswork components to a variety of industrial sectors, including automotive, medical, green, telecoms and micro. The company is now the leading manufacturer of metal components for push-fit plumbing systems. In complete contrast, Brandauer also makes the switches for 90% of all the kettles in the world and manufactures medical products ranging from surgical implants to the cutters on dental floss packets.

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The start – Two Families and a Steel Pen Patent

The start – Two Families and a Steel Pen Patent

In 1860, Joseph Letière Petit, grandson of a French protestant refugee, submitted his own patent for steel pens and began manufacturing in Birmingham town centre, producing pens under the name of Ash, Petit & Co, as well as for other local companies.

Karl Heinrich Immanuel Brandauer was the son-in-law of Ash, Petit & Co’s agent in Vienna, Carl Kuhn. When the partnership between Kuhn and Petit broke down and supplies of pens from Birmingham stopped, Brandauer was sent to investigate. He was very impressed with what he found and offered to finance a new factory, with Joseph Letière Petit providing the technical expertise. In 1862, C Brandauer & Co (Karl had anglicised his name to Charles) moved into its new premises and products previously sold under the Ash, Petit & Co name appeared as part of the range of products from Brandauer.

UK Manufacturing Boom: Brandauer on the BBC

It has been a flying start for Brandauer in 2018, with many new projects started and orders secured. As a company that exports around 75% of its products, global growth in manufacturing has meant growth for Brandauer.

Brandauer were recently featured on the BBC News, discussing the reasons for their recent growth as well as the subject of UK manufacturing growth.

For more information on Brandauer and the services and products that they provide, please visit www.brandauer.co.uk or call +44 (0)121 359 2822 for sales enquiries.