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Go on a journey through time with us

A lot has happened in 100 years: new production sites in Germany, expansions around the globe and many exciting products that have been part of Bohle's DNA for decades.

1923 - 1932

The beginning

On 10 December 1923, Josef Bohle launches his company despite hyperinflation prevailing in Germany. In his brother-in-law's workshop in Ohligs (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), he sets up a small corner to produce cutting wheels. The first customers are knife manufacturers who produce pocket knives with glass cutting wheels.

In 1930, Josef Bohle builds his own company building in Solingen. The company now wants, and is able to, stand on its own feet. In the meantime, son August Bohle also supports his father in the business after completing an apprenticeship as a locksmith.

From 1932, the production of complete glass cutters begins under the brands JBOR (Josef Bohle Ohligs Rheinland) and JBORExtra.

1933 - 1942

The birth of the Silberschnitt® and Veribor® brands

In 1936, the SILBERSCHNITT trademark is registered: an historic moment, because this is the birth of a quality tool. Silberschnitt is the name given to the shiny silvery fissure left by a quality cut in the glass. And although this German word was difficult to pronounce for some international customers, this has not been an obstacle to becoming known throughout the glass world.
The Veribor® brand was also certified as a trademark in 1936. The brand, which has given its name to the suction lifter range since the 1950s, was used for glass cutters in the 1930s and 1940s.

The war years

During the war years, there is a constant threat of being called up for military service or even the closure of the company. Thanks to its unique positioning in a small specialised market, however, the company is able to continue its activities, even though material is scarce and staff are lacking.

1943 - 1952

The first big investment

After the purchase of neighbouring land in 1951, the construction of three buildings begins. This is the first major structural investment of the young company.

Product expansion

In 1952, the Diamantor® brand is introduced. The DIAMANTOR is a 1-wheel glass cutter with the typical Anglo-Saxon and American handle design. In the same year, the production of Silberschnitt® carbide cutting wheels begins, which provide an enormous increase in productivity and become a successful product in machine glass cutting.

1953 - 1962

The 3rd generation

With Norbert Bohle, the first of August Bohle's three sons joins the company in 1957. On 1 January 1958, the general partnership (oHG) becomes a limited partnership (KG) in which Josef and August Bohle are general partners and August Bohle's three sons are already limited partners. In 1959, the company founder Josef Bohle passes away at the age of 76.

Veribor® Vacuum Suction Lifter

In the fifties, the company starts the development of suction lifters designed for the transportation and handling of larger glass panes. The product series around the "pane gripper" Veribor® 1 was increasingly expanded and developed into a second mainstay for Bohle.

1963 - 1972

Further growth

All options for expansion on the previous site are exhausted. An expansion of the company in 1969 can therefore only take place elsewhere. This is how the company comes to its current headquarters in Haan. In 1968 and 1970, August's brothers Ulrich and Lothar Bohle also join the company. In 1971, the newly established August Bohle Foundation takes over the position of a general partner in the KG. In 1964, the Bohle lettering becomes a designed logo for the first time. The design is based on the company's foundation in glass cutting.

Machine production

In 1972, attempts to assemble the glass cutter by machine are successful. This was a major and necessary step forward in productivity, which ensured greater economic efficiency.

1973 - 1982

Expansion in Haan

Further construction measures enlarge the existing buildings. In addition, the construction of a 40 x 25 metre, three-storey building has begun, which will later house the administration department.

Entering the computer age

Bohle enters the computer age in 1979 with the purchase of an IBM desktop computer. It is initially used for warehouse and materials management.

Production expansion

A rubber spraying machine, with which rubber discs for suction lifters can now be produced by the company itself, is purchased in 1978.

1983 - 1992

Company headquarters

In 1984, the company moves its headquarters from Solingen to Haan. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a second branch is established in Torgau, Saxony, in 1991.

Tiffany Trend

To capitalise on the trend for Tiffany glasswork, special glass cutters, pliers and accessories are developed. Close cooperation with a specialist in this sector leads to the takeover of the company CHT (Creativ Hobby Technik).

New distribution channels

In 1990, Bohle starts to build up a direct sales network. An essential task in the following years is to establish direct sales of the product range to the European glazier trade and the glass industry.

The son of the company founder dies

In 1988, August Bohle passes away at the age of 80.

1993 - 2002

Internationalisation and expansion

In the 90s, the company opens several Bohle subsidiaries in Austria, Spain, Italy and Estonia by founding new companies or taking over local companies. The French market is controlled by a separate department from Haan. In 2002, the first African subsidiary opens in South Africa.

The company is converted into a stock corporation in 2001 and from now on is called Bohle AG. Norbert and Lothar Bohle leave the operational side of the business. Norbert Bohle moves to the Supervisory Board.

Mechanical engineering in Torgau

In 1995, Bohle enters the field of mechanical engineering. In a new branch in Torgau, Saxony, glass processing machines such as drilling and grinding machines are built, which are needed in every glazier's shop.

2003 - 2012

Internationalisation and expansion

The years are marked by the opening of international branches. In 2004, the Russian market was opened up, followed by Sweden in 2005, North America in 2008 and finally a branch in China in 2011.

A modern high-bay warehouse in Haan, which handles logistics and shipping to Germany and surrounding countries, is put into operation.

Change of Board

2006 Ulrich Bohle relinquishes his position as Chairman of the Board and becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Dr. Heinrich Ostendarp is appointed to the company's Managing Board. Arne Klöfkorn, Ulrich Bohle's son-in-law, becomes a member of the Management Board in 2008.

Product developments

Bohle develops innovative in-house products. BriteGuard® is the first surface protection product from Bohle, GlassBuddy®, an electronic glass measuring device, is launched, a new microstructured cutting wheel is introduced under the name Cutmaster® Platinum and the glass adhesive range is also expanded.

2013 - 2023


In America, Bohle takes over Portals, a company known in the USA for its shower fittings. Share purchases of the Italian hardware manufacturer McSlide and the takeover of the cutting wheel manufacturer Lixon follow. To meet the growing demand for fittings, the existing warehouse is rebuilt and later a second warehouse with an area of 1000 sqm is put into operation in nearby Hilden.

The portfolio

Bohle continues to invest in the development of new products and the further development of existing ones. These include in-house developments such as the MasterTrack® sliding door system, the Juna® shower door hinge and the VetroMount® railing system, which wins the renowned Red Dot Design Award as "Innovative Product 2020". The plastic series of Veribor® suction lifters will be visually and functionally revised. The aluminium suction lifters will also be given a new design in 2021.

Supervisory Board and Executive Board

In 2013, Norbert and Ulrich Bohle, grandchildren of the founder, retire from the Supervisory Board of Bohle AG. In 2013, Dr Mathias Turwitt is elected as the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Thorsten Böllinghaus joins Arne Klöfkorn on the Management Board in 2016.

100 years later

100 years later, Josef Bohle's one-man business has become an international player that has not lost its innovative strength. Bohle is Europe's leading manufacturer and supplier of glass with a portfolio of fittings, handling products, workshop supplies and industrial products. We are at the forefront of providing service to trade, commerce and industry. The company is certified according to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system, exports to over 100 countries and employs around 400 people at its 14 locations worldwide.

The motto for the 100th anniversary: We are just getting started. And we look forward to the coming years with anticipation.

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