Seven generations – one company / Chapter 3.
The 3. Generation
Throughout the year, in this section we are going to present you with an overview of the previous seven generations of the Wüsthof family who have worked for the company. Today, we have reached the third generation.
When his father died in 1839, Eduard Wüsthof (1817-1876) took over responsibility for the company, which was soon also to be named after him. Eduard married Juliane Röltgen (also from a traditional Solingen family) and together they had six children – five sons and a daughter.
The production of pocket knives started up while he was in charge, giving the company a second source of income. Pocket knives played a very significant role in Solingen, the “City of Blades” at the time. Even today, it is rare to meet someone from Solingen who is not the proud owner of a Solingen pocket knife.
At the time, they became a popular status symbol. They were assembled by hand (known locally as “Reiden”), made functional and polished (known as “Ausmachen”). In the 1904 WÜSTHOF catalogue, no fewer than 1125 different pocket knife models were shown on 48 pages.
It soon became apparent that there was not enough space at Höfchen. In any case, the Wüsthofs wanted to run their business as far as possible from the city of Solingen. In 1867, Eduard was at last able to buy a larger house along with a workshop on what is now known as Flurstraße in Solingen. The property in Höfchen was let out.
The company continued to expand at its new premises.
Other products made from Solingen steel were gradually added to the range of shears and pocket knives. The Eduard Wüsthof company was entered in the company register in 1869 in Elberfeld as a
“factory and warehouse for all kinds of forged shears,
pocket knives, dagger knives, penknives, table knives and forks,
bread knives, vegetable knives and butchering knives, etc.”
Eduard died in 1876. His gravestone is an historic monument in the Protestant cemetery on Kasinostraße in Solingen. In the next chapter, “The fourth generation”, find out how his sons fared and how the Wüsthof story continues.