History

  • 1893

    The Sophienhammer develops. Daily production grows from the original 100 scythes to 1,000 at the turn of the century.

  • 1895

    "Mannus" is registered as a German Reich trademark with the Reich Patent Office, initially as a scythe trademark. Since around 1960, the "Mannus" brand has stood for road barriers and flagpoles, and later as an umbrella brand for the entire outdoor furniture product range. Since 1996, "Mannus" has been registered as a European trademark at the European Trademark Office in Alicante. The brand name goes back to the divine progenitor of the Germanic tribes, Mannus.

  • 1902

    In 1902, the Cronenberg company presented lawn mowers, which were probably imported from the USA. The marketing of this product range is not pursued further later.

  • 1904

    On November 15, 1904, Carl-Julius passes away after an extraordinarily busy and successful life. The company passes to his 3 sons.

  • 1905

    The Cronenberg company takes over the scythe forge F. Athmer from Schwagstorf, district of Bersenbrück. The German scythe industry consolidates, Cronenberg significantly increases its market share with this acquisition.

  • 1922

    The hydropower plant for electricity generation is put into operation. The turbine plant is overhauled at the beginning of the 1990s and continues to generate electricity without interruption to this day.

  • 1923

    Cronenberg invested in an oxygen production plant, which remained in operation until the mid-1950s. The oxygen business continued as a filling and cylinder storage business until the mid-1990s in cooperation with Messer-Griesheim.

  • 1936

    Wilhelm (1905 - 1984) joins the company as the 8th generation after his training as a business graduate.

  • 1939

    Cronenberg bought the Andres Schilli scythe factory in Oberursel. Stocks, customers, representatives and brands were taken over, and the company in the Taunus region was closed down.

  • 1940

    Franz Julius Cronenberg leads the Sophienhammer with his cousin Wilhelm Cronenberg through the difficult war and post-war years.

  • 1954

    Registration of the Kältefeind trademark In 1954, the first automatic door seal was registered as a German trademark under the name Kältefeind. Later, the Cronenbergs decide to expand the production and marketing of door seals under the umbrella of the Athmer company.

  • 1959

    Dieter-Julius Cronenberg Dieter-Julius Cronenberg begins to build up new business areas. Earnings from the scythe and oxygen plant finance the high initial investment in product and market development.

  • 1960

    Roadblocks and flagpoles
 The first roadblocks and flagpoles are created from discarded oxygen cylinders - recycling of the very first hour. The distribution takes place under the old scythe brand Mannus.

  • 1961

    Takeover of Sonnleithner 
In 1961, the Sonnleithner scythe factory in Laussa, Upper Austria, was taken over. Consolidation in the European scythe market continues. Cronenberg aims to maintain or expand a leading market position. From the mid-1980s, scythe production is concentrated at Sonnleithner and discontinued at Sophienhammer.

  • 1964

    Wilhelm and Dieter-Julius Cronenberg are driving forward the restructuring of the Sophienhammer. They devote special attention to the task of guiding employees through the far-reaching changes.

  • 1964

    Acquisition of Leymann
 With the takeover of H.C. Leymann from Sulingen, Cronenberg further expands its share of the German scythe market.

  • 1969

    Croso wrought iron
 The Croso Wrought Iron business unit is established as a further mainstay. Industrially prefabricated semi-finished parts help to drastically reduce the costs of wrought-iron construction elements such as grilles and railings. The blacksmiths from the Scythe plant can put their knowledge and skills to good use at Croso.

  • 1983

    Patent Schall-Ex
 Athmer's new Schall-Ex with patented internal sealing achieves top values in sound insulation tests and becomes the standard floor seal in doors with technical requirements.

  • 1985

    In cooperation with the Hagen University of Applied Sciences, a test chamber for orienting smoke protection tests is developed and built. Athmer offers its customers more and more system-specific solutions and provides support in development and approval procedures.

  • 1991

    Carl Julius Cronenberg joins the company as the tenth generation.

  • 1992

    Takeover of H.P.K. scythe factory
 The scythe factory H.P. Kuhlmann Söhne from Leverkusen-Schlehbusch is taken over. Later, the hammer mill is rededicated as an industrial museum by the city of Leverkusen. In 2008, the Cronenberg company celebrates its company party in the scythe museum in Schlehbusch.

  • 1992

    Takeover of ESW
 The Ennepetaler Sensenwerke company from Hagen was taken over. This completes the concentration process in the German scythe industry. Cronenberg remains the only manufacturer in Germany with its own production alongside the Bavarian-Tyrolean Scythe Union.

  • 1995

    Parking lot bollards 
Sonnleithner starts the production of parking lot bumpers. In 3 steps Sonnleithner expands this main pillar. The product range is supplemented by booms and other accessories for flagpoles. The new mainstays secure the production site Laussa independent from the scythe plant.

  • 1996

    Foundation of Croso France SA, Trappes (F) 
 Croso France SA, Trappes (F) is founded to market the parking lot bollards and other Mannus articles in France.

  • 1998

    Wilm-Hendric Cronenberg joins the company as the tenth generation.

  • 1998

    "Land of the hammers
" Sonnleithner is the only scythe factory to take part in the Upper Austrian regional exhibition "Land of Hammers - Home of the Eisenwurzen". Thousands of visitors experience how scythes are forged during guided factory tours.

  • 1999

    Takeover of the locking bar production of Hörmann in France and relocation of production to Sonnleithner in Laussa.

  • 1999

    Foundation of Croso International and conversion from wrought iron to stainless steel railing systems

  • 2000

    Closure of scythe production in Austria. The last remaining scythe smith found employment in an Austrian scythe smithy. After discontinuation of in-house production, expansion of the wholesale business in the Ennepetaler Scythe Works.

  • 2002

    Acquisition of Contipole, Ampflwang (A)
 With the acquisition of the Upper Austrian specialist Contipole for the conification of aluminum tubes, JCS is strengthening its core competence in the flagpole sector. The patented process opens up access to the European lighting pole market.


  • 2003

    New construction of the flagpole production hall at the Sophienhammer. This represents a significant optimization of production, which was previously spread across a large number of old production halls. This hall, designed predominantly as a timber structure, is awarded the BDA 2003 Good Buildings Award and recognition for the NRW Timber Construction Prize 2006.

  • 2004

    Foundation of the joint venture Via Guide, together with the Lavi family from Los Angeles, California. The people guidance systems already traded by Cronenberg since 1996 get a new home. The added value is complemented by development and production.

  • 2006

    Foundation Via Guide GmbH
 Since 1997, JCS has been importing the classic Beltrac® webbing post from Lavi Industries in the USA. In 2006, the successful cooperation resulted in the founding of the joint venture Via Guide, which immediately advanced to become one of the leading European suppliers of passenger guidance and information systems.

  • 2008

    Foundation of Croso Austria
 The foundation of Croso Austria in Laussa, Upper Austria represents the starting signal for Croso's internationalization strategy.

  • 2009

    Spin-off of the bollard product division into the company URBANUS GmbH, whose location remains the Sophienhammer. The former operating department Sperrpfosten becomes an independent company.

  • 2010

    Arteferrum Croso is now called Croso International and starts marketing its innovative LED-lit railing system under the European brand Crosilux®. This is followed by the foundation and development of 2 sales offices in Great Britain and Romania.

  • 2011

    Celebration of the 300th anniversary of the company and inauguration of the new building "Finger Protection Production" at the Sophienhammer. Again, this is a wooden building with low-energy standard.

  • 2012

    Athmer commissions its new factory for the finger protection business unit. For the first time, all manufacturing, logistics and administrative processes are integrated and planned under one roof. As previously at Mannus, the low-energy building is realized as a timber construction and stands for workplace quality and sustainability.

  • 2014

    Via Guide GmbH has signed a cooperation agreement with Qmetrix GmbH in Vienna (Austria).
 With the 50 percent stake in Qmetrix, Via Guide strengthens its product portfolio in the field of electronic passenger guidance and information systems.

  • 2015

    Acquisition of the wholesale company Norseal in Newcastle, Great Britain. Athmer thus gains direct access, especially for automatic door seals, to the British market.

  • 2016

    Croso International has moved into the new factory building. The high-quality new building combines the areas of production, warehouse and administration on 4000 sqm of floor space. The wooden construction sets a clear example in terms of ecological building.

  • 2016

    Qingdao Sophienhammer Hardware Co., Ltd. / CN
 QSH was founded in July 2015 in the port city of Qingdao in the east of the People's Republic of China. With the step into Asia, JCS aims to produce and distribute high-quality door seals for the Chinese market.

  • 2017

    Commissioning of the Athmer Technical Center at the Sophienhammer. State-of-the-art test rigs can be used to test door, gate and window elements for fire resistance, smoke permeability, sound insulation and burglar resistance. This is done in close cooperation with the Rosenheim Institute for Window Technology (ift).

  • 2017

    
Croso continues to evolve from a component trader to a systems provider. Further development means change. A fresh and modern brand serves as the basis for orientation and security. Croso offers advice, safety, function and aesthetics for fabricators, planners and architects.

  • 2018

    Establishment of the Athmer Singapore sales office.

  • 2019

    Founding of Athmer's sales offices in India and Dubai.

  • 2021

    "150 years of the Sophienhammer home". The celebrations have to be postponed until 2022 due to the Corona pandemic. In addition, on July 14, significant parts of the Sophienhammer are flooded by a flood. Thanks to the great efforts of all employees, the consequences for customers are quickly contained, but major damage is caused to buildings and facilities.

  • 2022

    Acquisition of the British company Firestop in Dorchester, southern England. This complements Athmer's product portfolio with intumescent seals, which are also in particularly high demand in the Asian markets.

  • 2022

    Celebration of "150 Heimat Sophienhammer".