Merkur History

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The MERKUR brand, established in Solingen for over 125 years, is renowned for creating sophisticated and high-quality double-edge razors made in Germany.

The craftsmen take great care to ensure each razor is a masterpiece of metal, utilizing attention to detail and unparalleled craftsmanship. Their goal is to continuously improve and exceed the standards set by the Solingen Ordinance, drawing on the extensive knowledge and traditions passed down through generations of cutlery experts.

Merkur Razor founder

A look into the archive

  • The beginning

    The beginning

    Factory headquarters around 1912, Beethovenstraße, Solingen
    The company was founded in 1896 by Emil Hermes. However, as there were already other steel companies in Solingen with the name Hermes, he registered MERKUR, the Roman designation for Hermes, the messenger of the gods, as a trademark.

  • Early models

    Early models

    Safety Razors
    The first wet razors already had a safety comb, in which an interchangeable blade (wedge) shortened to 4cm, similar in shape to a classic razor, was clamped. However, this often had to be resharpened.

  • Early models

    Early models

    Safety Razors
    At the beginning of the 20th century, the production of double-edged razor blades began, as they are known today. This reduced the risk of injury, and when they became blunt, they could be replaced inexpensively.

  • From production

    From production

    The sons Erich (the elder) and Hans join the company at the end of the 1920s.
    A social gathering in the packing room around 1935 with Erich Hermes (with glasses on the left) and Hans Hermes (with glasses on the right).

  • From production

    From production

    The black booklet

    In the packing room there was a sample book for blade packaging, in which individual and outer packaging, cellophane and sample blade envelopes were included for each customer.

  • Moving times

    Moving times

  • Official seal of quality

    Official seal of quality

    Over the years, Merkur filed patents for several models.
    Stamped on the razors there was “Made in Solingen” and “Germany”

  • Advertising and design

    Advertising and design

    As a classic product, the razor also reflects past tastes in design, packaging, and advertising.

  • Economic miracle

    Economic miracle

    Dietrich Hermes, the son of Hans Hermes, leads the company together with his uncle Erich Hermes through the economic miracle period after the latter’s early death in 1957. After his uncle’s death in the 1970s, Dietrich Hermes sold MERKUR Stahlwaren

  • Into the 90s

    Into the 90s

    In January 1996, the Kirschbaum family acquires a majority shareholding and founds MERKUR Stahlwaren GmbH & Co. KG, which has now been in existence for more than 25 years. The worldwide distribution network and the booming market for men's cosmetics and wet shaving help the razor and the MERKUR brand gain new popularity in the following years.

  • Into the 90s

    Into the 90s

    Typical 90s:
    With futuristic shapes and a cool marble look, MERKUR moves with the times.

  • New paths into the future

    New paths into the future

    Managing Director Ulrich Wiethoff has shaped the development of MERKUR products for a good 18 years. He acquires the company in 2021 as sole shareholder and successor of the Kirschbaum family.
    The move to the new location at Nordstr. 10 in 42719 Solingen follows in September 2022.

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