In 1919 Käthe and Eugen Beurer were living in poor conditions at Frauenstrasse 57 in Ulm. But the couple, in particular Käthe Beurer as the driving force, had an idea, a vision: as an alternative to the then very common hot water bottle, electrically operated heating pads would provide people with cosy warmth in future. A very practical invention in times in which central heating was not a standard feature of a home. Heinrich Stanger from Reutlingen had become acquainted with the manufacture of heating pads whilst in the USA and, following his return to Ulm in 1908, started production of the first models in Germany. The relevant expertise was therefore on hand when Käthe Beurer and her husband ventured into self-employment in 1919. Despite all the difficult circumstances, "production" began, albeit in modest conditions at first. The first units were produced using two sewing machines in their bedroom at home.
Due to strong inflation, the company was on the verge of collapse.
Eugen and Käthe Beurer were convinced about their product and held on to their vision.
The entrepreneur Hermann Bantleon joined the young company, in the wake of which the company was entered in the commercial register.
At the end of the 1920s, the cat's head was established as the logo. "Beurer cat brings warmth and comfort to a cold bed!" That was the slogan with which Beurer aggressively and yet humorously addressed potential customers from 1930 onward. The cat logo united all the qualities that one had come to expect from the products of this still young company. Warmth, comfort and well-being should all be experienced by the owners of Beurer heating pads. The real cat on the lap had at this point already become a bit of a veteran. Other attributes of our purring, four-legged friend – trust, homeliness and reliability – were synonymous with Beurer products. The cat's head would characterise the image of Beurer for almost 70 years.
Eugen Beurer had the thermostat and thermostat fixing patented, therefore laying the foundations for heat-regulating heating pads.
Hermann Bantleon resigned as a partner of the company.
After a difficult start, initial successes and failures, Beurer celebrated its 15th anniversary in 1934. This milestone also marked
the start of innovative change for the still young company. Bernhard Beurer, the son of the founding couple, joined the company at the age of 22 and brought youthful energy to the business. While the hard work producing heating pads continued in Ulm, Bernhard travelled all over the country, becoming a "one-man sales wonder". Helped by the generally good
economic situation and the extensive travel activities of Beurer junior, the company experienced a rapid upturn.
With the generation change, Beurer made a giant leap forward. In 1935, the company already had 100 employees. The
extensive travel activities of Bernhard Beurer laid the foundations for successful distribution and the growth of the brand. Before the war started, production had to be increased, which resulted in the relocation to a former restaurant in Söflinger Strasse in Ulm, where Beurer still has its head office to this day.
Beurer contributed to the war effort by producing special thermal clothing for pilots.
During the Second World War, Beurer produced products for military purposes, among other things, until 1943. At the end of 1943, production had to be ceased, as heating products were less relevant during the war.
In the course of the war, however, the company's home city was not spared the serious consequences of the allied bombings, which became more and more intensive towards the end of the conflict. As an important centre of the German arms industry, the city was a key target for the bombings, which were increasingly intensified from 1944, and were also carried out during the daytime from spring of the same year. The worst attack took place on 17 December 1944. A total of 1500 tonnes of high-explosive and incendiary bombs turned the city of Ulm into a sea of flames.
In 1945, the whole company site in Söflingen lay in ruins and ashes, expensive machinery and raw materials had been destroyed and at first it looked like restarting would be impossible. The entrepreneurial spirit of the Beurer family was, as in many medium-sized German companies, unbroken and therefore the rebuilding of the Beurer plant began immediately after the end of the war. In the very same year, the company was able to start initial – albeit limited – production.
Beurer invested heavily in advertising and marketing.
Beurer appeared at the Hanover Trade Fair for the first time with its own stand.
The launch of the electric blanket by Beurer in Germany
The patent for a stepless temperature control followed. In the same year, production of the bed warmer began. After slow sales to begin with, it increasingly became the biggest revenue contributor. Beurer presented modern irons, known as "high-speed ironers".
Hans-Dieter Bühler, the son-in-law of Bernhard Beurer, became the third generation of the family to join the company.
Celebration to mark the company's 50th anniversary featuring the yodeller Franz Lang and the Bavarian cabaret artist Georg Blädel. Beurer invested in numerous new manufacturing machines. Cooperation with the Stuttgart-based company Progress, resulting in successful expansion of the distribution network.
Käthe Beurer died in Ulm
With 300 employees, Beurer was producing heating pads, electric blankets, coffee pot cosies, plate warmers and heated overalls for workers in cold conditions. Erich Deuser, physiotherapist to the German national football team, relied on the Beurer rheumatherm-vario heating pad.
Eugen Beurer died in Ulm, Bernhard Beurer took over as sole manager
Purchase of the company Hadi, manufacturer of heating products
Beurer presented its products at the "German Industrial Products" exhibition in Moscow
Launch of high-speed bed warmers featuring a microprocessor-controlled signal wire
Start of the cooperation with sales representatives from all over the Federal Republic of Germany
The Dutch importer Martex became a sales subsidiary
Invention of the automatic switch-off function for heating products
While Beurer boasted a considerable market share (approx. 75%) in the area of heating products at the beginning of the 1980s, the demand for this segment was gradually stagnating. To counteract this development, Beurer supplemented the range with other and new products that were not related to flexible heating. The expansion of the range was mainly pursued by Dr Hans-Dieter Bühler. The new category was christened with the trendsetting name "BodyFit". At that time, it included massagers, infrared lamps and blood pressure monitors. A particular highlight to mention is that Eberhard Gienger, World Champion on the high bar, became the new face of the BodyFit line advertisements in 1987. Over the years, "BodyFit" grew more and more rapidly and even though the name was dropped many years ago, the products from this area make up 70% of today's revenue.
Launch of blood pressure monitors and clinical thermometers
Beurer was the market leader in Germany in the "flexible heating" sector. Growing market shares in the European region as well.
Repositioning of "BodyFit" in the direction of "Wellness"
Establishment of the production site in Veszprém, Hungary and the sales subsidiary Boneco in Vienna. Launch of room air-conditioners.
Until the beginning of the 1990s, the cat's head performed many years of faithful service as a trademark on posters, flyers, catalogues, as Beurer mascots and in many households a well-loved member of the family. Beurer stopped using the cat's head as a trademark for good after approx. 70 years. The reason for this decision was the expansion of the
range taking place at that time, which now also included many product groups that were no longer connected to the cat's head.
Acquisition of the Dutch market leader Inventum
Acquisition of the hitherto largest and last competitor still producing in Germany, Wetzotherm. Beurer became the only manufacturer of flexible heating products in Germany
Beurer was the leading manufacturer in Europe of electronic devices for health and well-being.
Beurer launched another product range: scales. Bernhard Beurer died in Ulm. The company remained in family ownership.
Start of fully automated production of underblankets. Marco Bühler became the fourth generation of the family to join the company and became technical director in 2004.
"Beauty" range expansion with manicure devices, facial saunas, etc.
Establishment of Beurer Far East Ltd., with head office in Hong Kong for quality control and supplier management. Worldwide partnerships and investments, expansion towards Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Launch of the heart rate monitor range. Beurer half marathon in Ulm
Launch of the "Medical" product category and presentation of blood glucose monitors. Beurer among the top 100 most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany
Change of name from GmbH & Co. KG to Beurer GmbH
Beurer celebrated its 90th anniversary. Beurer was once again in the top 100 most innovative medium-sized companies in Germany
Beurer presented exclusive Janosch collection. The range covered all the relevant areas from feeding and health to skincare and safety.
Udo Walz by Beurer cooperation. With "Udo Walz by Beurer", the Ulm-based family company created its own world of haircare within its Beauty division and offered the basis for the perfect look with over 25 sophisticated beauty products.
Beurer is a traditional company and has been awarded the title of "Brand of the Century" by media and economic experts for its heating pads.
Development of a whole beauty line in collaboration with ELLE – one of the most influential fashion magazines in the world.
Beurer Connect had a new star – the HealthManager. The user has the option of transferring measured values to the HealthManager app via Bluetooth® Smart technology and Near Field Communication or using the conventional USB method. Once there, measured values can be analysed and compared with each other. Web data can also be synchronised between the systems using HealthManager. With all these great features, Beurer offers a truly modern health management system.
Beurer expanded its range to include the AS 80 activity sensor and linked two more product groups "Activity" and "Sleep" to the HealthManager health management system.