In This House, febi History Was Written

The febi headquarters from 1844

The house on Wilhelmstraße in Ennepetal is inconspicuous. A well-kept, well preserved slate building – something that is seen often in the region. That history has been made in this house may not recognizable at first glance.

However, a second glance reveals a special plaque: this house is a protected, historical monument. After all, it was built 180 years ago. Here, at Wilhelmstrasse 38, the cornerstone for today’s Ferdinand Bilstein, better known as the bilstein group, was laid in 1838.

Ideal Conditions

At the time, Friedrich Bilstein, the uncle of the company founder, Ferdinand, decided to build the slate house on the site. The advantage: the road was one of the few well-developed roads in the area. Until then, companies had to transport their goods via muddy roads, some of which were impassable in winter. Wilhelmstrasse, on the other hand, offered ideal conditions for a company’s headquarters.

The old headquarters (at the bottom right of Wilhelmstraße) is today diagonally across from the modern headquarters (photo from the 2000s)

In 1844, Friedrich sold the building to his cousin who in turn made it available immediately for his son, Ferdinand Bilstein, who did not yet have the necessary funds: the birth of today’s bilstein group. The house served Ferdinand and his family – and also future generations – as both a warehouse and office. From this location, files, chisels, drills, pocket knives, and other metal goods went out to customers throughout Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

A Piece of febi History

With the growing success of the company, the office space slowly became too small. In 1910, a new building was erected directly across the street. This is where the management is still based today. The head office was rebuilt and now serves as a residential building.

A building with a special past in which a piece of febi history has been written.


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