The Carlshütte laid the foundation
In 1827, with the Carlshütte, Marcus Hartwig Holler (1796-1858) established the first large-scale industrial company in today’s Schleswig-Holstein. The iron foundry was named after its patron Carl von Hessen (1744-1836), the governor of the territory which was formerly Danish. New production technology, multiple company branches and the expansion of the company help the Carlshütte to achieve economic success.
Holler had familiarised himself with mining and metallurgy as well as modern casting techniques during his journeys through Prussia, Saxony and Scandinavia and recognised the significance of iron for the region early. With the invention of the cupola furnace in England around the turn of the 18th century, the manufacturing of cast iron became independent of the blast furnace. The further development of the material enabled the production of three-dimensional figures, decorative items and articles of daily use as well as finely decorated jewellery.
The first cupola furnace was commissioned at the Carlshütte on January 22, 1828. Holler established an own ornamental cast iron department according to the Prussian model in the 1830s. With the models, he frequently followed the role models of the Royal Prussian Berlin, Gleiwitz and Sayn foundries.
The exceptional cast quality of the products manufactured at the Carlshütte is clearly demonstrated by the elegant and decorative decors and is attributable to the company founder’s ambitiousness to make urban lifestyles more tangible for a rural population. Nonetheless, the Carlshütte achieved its greatest successes with the manufacturing of simple durable goods.
The Ahlmann family was increasingly involved in the Carlshütte business as of 1883. From 1941, the ironworks operated under Ahlmann-Carlshütte K.G. The company declared insolvency for the first time in 1974. Final insolvency and closure took place in 1997. The Ahlmann-Carlshütte’s main product is enamelled cast iron bath tubs.
The currently worldwide active ACO Group with its headquarters in Büdelsdorf arose from the company.