Companies and Personalities
Famous personalities from business, art, science and politics have always played a major role in the history of our region. The work of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Sachs, Martin Behaim and many others has changed the way of thinking. Economists like Ludwig Erhard had a major influence on the way the German economy has developed. And from the ideas of entrepreneurs like Werner von Siemens, the Dassler brothers or Theo Schöller successful companies have emerged which are now active all over the world and well known in many countries.
Explore the rich history of our region and discover which famous companies started their business in Central Franconia.
Companies and brands
Internationally well-known companies and brands.
Famous entrepreneurs from Central Franconia
The Economic Region of Nuremberg has always been home to innovative thinkers and creative minds. What began in the Late Middle Ages with Martin Behaim, Albrecht Dürer, Peter Henlein, Veit Stoß and Hans Sachs has been continued by modern-day entrepreneurs and research personalities such as the Dassler Brothers, Max Grundig, Georg Ohm, Gustav Schickedanz and Werner von Siemens. On this page you will find a few examples of the most important personalities who have lived and worked in the Economic Region of Nuremberg since the Middle Ages.
- Werner von Siemens (1816 Lenthe/Hanover - 1892 Berlin) revolutionized telegraphy with the inventions he made in a back building workshop in Berlin. His discovery of the dynamo electronic principle laid the groundwork for heavy current engineering. In 1879 Siemens constructed the first electric train in the world, which was followed shortly by the first electric streetcar. Through its involvement in the industrial, energy, and healthcare sectors, Siemens is a global leader – and with over 35,000 employees, it is the largest employer in the greater Nuremberg area. “Siemens town”, Erlangen, is one of the main locations for this global player worldwide.
- Karl Diehl (1907 Nuremberg - 2008 Nuremberg) joined the family business, Metall-, Guss- und Presswerk Heinrich Diehl in Nuremberg in 1930 and took over the running of the company in 1938, following the death of his father. In just a few years Karl Diehl turned the Nuremberg semi-finished metals production firm into an international operation – a technology company specializing in the electronics and automobile industries, the aerospace sector and armaments. Diehl played a decisive role in establishing industry as a central pillar for prosperity and employment in the region. To this day the company remains entirely family-run.
- In 1937 Theo Schöller (1917 Nuremberg - 2004 Nuremberg) and his brother Karl went into business together in Nuremberg with a delectable business plan: ice cream on a stick. Because ice cream was originally only a summer product, in 1957 Schöller began to produce Nuremberg gingerbread too. The company ultimately began to produce frozen food and in 1960 the Schöller brand was launched. Today belonging to the Swiss firm Nestlé, the company became the second largest ice cream manufacturer in Germany – and Theo Schöller became a symbol for the German economic miracle that followed the Second World War.
- In 1920 Adolf Dassler (1900 Herzogenaurach - 1978 Herzogenaurach) took over his father’s business in Herzogenaurach; a company specializing in the production of felt slippers. From then on athletic shoes with handmade spikes were manufactured. In 1924 his brother Rudolph Dassler (1898 Herzogenaurach - 1974 Herzogenaurach) joined the company, which then traded under the name “Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik”. In 1948 the brothers parted ways and divided the company in two. Adolf Dassler called his business adidas (after his nickname Adi and the first letters of his surname), Rudolf Dassler named his company Puma. Both are one of the biggest sporting goods manufacturers in the world.
- Ludwig Erhard (1897 Fürth - 1977 Bonn) was born as the son of a textile goods dealer. Erhard studied, researched, and lectured at the Nuremberg College of Trade. From 1945 to 1946 he was Bavarian Minister of Economics and from 1949 to 1963, German Federal Minister of Economics. Following Konrad Adenauer Erhard became the second Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1963 to 1966. Ludwig Erhard was one of the founding fathers of the GfK Group, the market research company headquartered in Nuremberg. He is seen as the founder of the social market economy and the German economic miracle (Wirtschaftswunder) after the Second World War.
- Anselm Feuerbach (1829 Speyer - 1880 Venice) was one of the most prominent German painters of the second half of the 19th century. The artist’s painting in the Feuerbach room at the CCI is entitled “Kaiser Ludwig der Bayer erteilt Nürnberger Bürgern Privilegien". The painting was commissioned by the Nuremberg Board of Commerce, the forerunner to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for a fee of 10,000 marks. The painting shows Kaiser Ludwig conferring privileges to Nuremberg merchants in 1332. In the imperial charter, Nuremberg was granted exemption from duties to 71 places. Feuerbach is buried in Nuremberg in the Sankt Johannis cemetery.