On 30 January 1817 Johann Friedrich Christian André laid the foundations for the present-day company. 200 years on and Arnold André, still owner-managed, is one of the largest cigarillo and cigar producers in Europe. Arnold André operates a business - production, import and sales of high-quality cigars - instilled by passion and characterised by a mixture of tradition and innovation. The well-known brands of the company represent the world of stylish and diverse forms of smoking pleasure. The cigars are produced in Germany and the Dominican Republic, and sold around the world.
Two centuries - seven generations. A rich and eventful past: Join us on an entertaining and enjoyable journey back in time. History and memories, anecdotes and extraordinary tales. Week by week, for the entire anniversary year.
Arnold André events World history events
Takeover of ELBACCO, L. Bastert & Co. cigar factory in Bünde. Specialist in Sumatra-quality cigars in the higher price bracket.
Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and others succeed in freeing Andreas Baader from prison. This spectacular action became the start of the radical group “Red Army Faction” (RAF).
Commissioning of a further production facility in Königslutter (1964 expansion, 1992 construction of a high-rack warehouse, concentration of all production at this location from 1993).
In February people in the north of Germany battled against the worst storm surge for 100 years.
In Germany the ‘Spiegel Affair’ also made the headlines, and also developed into a fight for complete freedom of the press.
The “Rolling Stones” formed their band.
Arnold André achieves record employment levels with over 6,000 workers. These figures include the approximately 30 branches and home workers.
Ché Guevara and Fidel Castro enter the Cuban capital city of Havana with their revolutionary troops.
The repeal of machine prohibition (“law restricting use of machinery in cigar production”), which has been in place since 1933, enables extensive technological rationalisation measures.
New production plant set up in Osterholz-Scharmbeck near Bremen (production at this location until 1992).
Elvis Presley takes up his service in the US army and General de Gaulle becomes French President.
The son of Walter André, Ernst Arnold André (1926 – 2003), becomes managing partner of the company.
Theodor Heuss presents the new national anthem for the Federal Republic.
After the end of the war in 1945, the German cigar industry has a difficult start. In particular there is a lack of suitable raw tobacco, and tax legislation also hinders sales.
In order to obtain what is necessary, thousands of people make great effort and take risks. So that the André company can at least continue on a small scale, employees travel to the Ruhr district with a few remaining cigar boxes in order to buy coal.
The Handelsgold brand is born. » Handelsgold Story
The entire world seems to be undergoing upheaval.
The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia gets a new constitution, the Hungarian People's Republic has been proclaimed, the British statesman and passionate cigar smoker Winston Churchill prophesied the strengthening of the Soviet Union in Europe.
The term “Iron Curtain” was used for the first time.
Georg C.E.L. André dies on 11 April in Berlin, where he has lived since 1923.
The year is strongly shaped by the Second World War. Poland is occupied and England is embroiled in aerial warfare. The Jewish ghetto is established in Warsaw. Himmler orders the construction of the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Conversion of the company into the legal form of an “OHG” (general partnership) with managing partners Georg, Fritz and Walter André.
The era of the large Zeppelin airship, which reaches a peak with commercial passenger flights across the Atlantic, ends with the tragic accident of the LZ 129 Hindenburg in New Jersey, Lakehurst.
30 October: On a stretch of the autobahn near Frankfurt, Bernd Rosemeyer reaches a speed of 440 km/h for over one kilometre in an Auto Union streamliner.
In addition to many other laws to contain the level of unemployment, on 15 July 1933 the German government passes the “law on the restriction of use of machines in cigar production” – so-called machine prohibition.
Economically, the year is overshadowed by the global economic crisis which has been going on for some years.
On account of an emergency decree of the President of Germany on 1 January 1931, the rates of duties and taxes increase again - with catastrophic consequences. 28,000 Westphalian cigar workers lose their jobs. As a result of changes to the taxation of cigarettes, there is a big upsurge in the cigar industry, however, this comes to an end again on 1 July 1931. In order to be able to provide former cigarette smokers with affordable cigars and cigarillos, large cigar companies install motor-driven winding machines which prepare leaves for binding and wrapping at 5 to 10 times the rate of a man doing the same job.
1931/1932: The economic crisis in Germany reaches its peak. 70,000 companies become insolvent and 6 million persons are unemployed.
21 August: At the “Berlin Radio Show”, Manfred von Ardenne gives the world's first public demonstration of a fully electronic experimental set-up for the transmission of moving images.
Arnold André installs the first motorised winding machine.
Heinrich Brüning is appointed Chancellor of Germany on 29 March.
Sole proprietorship Arnold André is converted to an “Aktiengesellschaft” (company limited by shares)
Georg C.E.L. André represents the Supervisory Board. His sons Fritz Heinrich (1892-1945) and Georg Arnold Walter André (1899-1991) run the business as Managing Directors.
10 January: The Peace Treaty of Versailles comes into force.
The First World War begins, leading to an economic boom in the tobacco industry thanks to orders from the army and navy. This continues until 1916.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo triggers the July Crisis, which subsequently leads to the First World War (1914-1918).
Construction of and relocation to the new production facilities - which are, at all levels, contemporary and well thought-out in terms of work organisation - in Bünde. The headquarters of the company are still located here today. In the process of conceiving the factory, Arnold André allows himself to be guided by his insights from his visit to two large cigar factories in the USA in 1888.
1 April: The construction of the Mittelland Canal is agreed within the scope of the Prussian Water Act.
After 1895 an economic boom commences, and continues until 1905. During this phase working from home becomes the predominant form of production of the Bünde cigar industry.
The André company doesn't miss out of advancements in communications technology. In December 1897 the company is the first in Bünde to acquire a telephone line with the number 1.
The first rigid airship created by inventor David Schwarz takes to the air on Tempelhof field, Berlin, on 3 November. The flight of the airship - the first also to be made using aluminium components - ends with a crash landing following failure of the control system. Count Zeppelin is amongst the spectators and later acquires the rights.
Georg C.E.L. André marries Anna Strauch and, in the same year, builds a villa for his family on Gartenstraße (today: Hindenburgstraße 11) in Bünde, which has always been regarded as the most exclusive street in the town. Most of the cigar factory owners live on this street in grand residences. The “Villa André” - as it is still known today - has not been owned by the family since 1945.
18 March: First telephone call from Paris to London takes place via a subsea communication cable across the English Channel.
During a three-month trip to the USA Georg C.E.L. André visits two of the largest American cigar factories. On his return he reports that production is organised in a completely different way. Everything is centralised in one building.
18 September: The German-Australian Steamship Company (DADG) is formed in Hamburg. It establishes scheduled services to Australia.
On 5 August Bertha Benz, wife of Carl Benz, drives with her two children in her husband's car (without his knowledge) from Mannheim to Pforzheim. This is the cross-country journey in a car.
Georg C.E.L. André (1863-1940), eldest son of Arnold F.L. André, takes over management of the company until its conversion into an “Aktiengesellschaft” (company limited by shares) in 1923, and then becomes Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Global brands are born:
Dr. John Stith Pemberton invents a carbonated drink on which Coca-Cola is based. Coca Cola is initially sold in Atlanta as a medicine.
Julius Maggi from Switzerland invents a seasoning sauce which is named after him – Maggi Seasoning.
1884 Arnold F.L. André dies. He leaves 8 children, of whom Richard and Georg C.E.L. André join their father's company.
On 13 October 1884 the International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C.adopts a resolution on global time zones. The Greenwich Meridian is selected as the international prime meridian.
1 December: workers' health insurance comes into force in the German Empire. Employers are responsible for one third of the contribution and employees contribute two thirds. This reform is a milestone in the history of social insurance in Germany.
Georg Christian Eduard Ludwig, first-born son of Arnold F.L. André joins his father's company as an apprentice.
The so-called “Gründerkrise” (lit. ‘founder crisis’ - an economic downturn during the 'founding years' immediately after German unification in 1871) also strongly impacts upon the tobacco industry in the following c. 10 years.
Humankind ‘sees the light’: Thomas A. Edison succeeds in making the first long-lasting light bulb.
The Franco-Prussian war leads to an economic boom in the cigar industry. Many thousands of workers are required to respond to extra demand from the armed forces. Numerous new companies in the cigar sector spring up everywhere – a subsidiary is set up in virtually every hamlet, every village – and Bünde becomes the centre of the cigar industry. The boom continues until 1873.
An argument between France and Prussia concerning a Hohenzollern (Prussian) prince's candidacy to the Spanish throne triggers the Franco-Prussian war from 1870 to 1871.
Prussian Minister President Otto von Bismarck releases the Ems Dispatch - a diplomatic message informing him that King Wilhelm I had rejected French demands - in a provocative, abbreviated form. This causes nationalistic outrage on both sides and induces French Emperor Napoléon III to declare war on Prussia on 19 July 1870.
In 1866 the epoch of the André dynasty, which had flourished under the leadership of Georg Rudolf André, comes to an end with termination of production in Osnabrück.
Soon afterwards, in December 1866, business activities of the new “Arnold André” company commence. On 17 May 1867 this company is officially registered under the name “Arnold André”, owner manufacturer Arnold Friedrich Ludwig André, in the commercial register of Herford. This represents the birth of the company in its current form.
27 July 1866: The first transatlantic telegraph cable is ready for long-term use following a year of cable-laying work by the Great Eastern steamship.
Alfred Nobel discovers dynamite and has it patented in 1866.
11 September 1867: the first volume of Capital, by Karl Marx, is published in Hamburg.
Arnold Friedrich Ludwig André manages the successful Bünde branch of the “André brothers”. At the end of 1862 the built-up plots on Eschstraße und Ecke Esch- / Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straße cover an area of c. 4,500 m². In 1866, an area of 15,000 m² is owned by the “André brothers”.
Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck-Schönhausen, who is given the title of 'Count' from 1865, and raised to the title of 'Prince' in 1871 as 'Fürst von Bismarck', becomes Minister President of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1862. He holds this position until 1890 - with a short break in 1873.
From 1867 to 1871 he is also Federal Chancellor of the North German Confederation and from 1871 to 1890 he is declared the first Chancellor of the German Empire, the formation of which was largely his responsibility.
Georg Rudolf André dies in Bünde in 1861. His family takes over the business until 1866.
Robert Bosch, founder of the Bosch company, is born on 23 September.
With the bombardment of Fort Sumters, the American Civil War commences on 12. April 1861 and continues until 1865, during which time military conflicts ensue between the confederation of united Southern states, which secede from the United States, and the Northern states (Union states) which remained part of the union. The war ends with the victory of the Northern states, restoration of the union and the abolishment of slavery.
On account of successor arrangements which he considered not to be clear enough, August André separates from his brother Georg R. in 1860, sells his shares to him and relocates to Bremen where he founds the Carl Flohr & Co. raw tobacco business with his son-in-law.
Abraham Lincoln becomes President of the United States of America.
Munich-based painter, Carl Spitzweg, paints one of his most famous pictures in 1869. The “The Intercepted Love Letter” painting is an example of his amusing and ironic style (the so-called “Pointenbilder”). The paintings “The Eternal Bridegroom” and “Walk with the Institute”, which were painted around the same period, also belong to this category.
Around 1860 Spitzweg also begins to paint small landscape portraits and idylls which he often paints on the inside of his cigar boxes, for example the “Landscape at Lake Ammer”.
The André brothers construct a branch factory for cigar production in Bünde. Crucial to this decision is Bünde’s excellent connection to a railway station as well as its close proximity to the River Weser, which is a significant transportation route for raw tobacco from Bremen. The downturn in the textile industry also means there is a large supply of well-trained specialist workers looking for work.
In 1856 the company employs 130 persons at this location, making it the largest employer in the entire district of Herford.
On 26 March 1851, Foucault showcases his pendulum to the public at the Panthéon in Paris using a pendulum 67m in length and 28kg in weight with a 60cm diameter.
At the end of the pendulum there is a tip which marks a line in a bed of sand on the floor with every swing. This undeniable evidence of the earth's rotation is sensational.
San Francisco in 1851. The gold rush, which began in California in 1848, reaches its peak.
The commencement of industrial gold mining from 1854 onwards means the age of private gold diggers becomes history.
Georg Rudolf André, together with his younger brother Friedrich August André, founds the “Gebrüder André Tabakfabrik” (André brothers tobacco factory) in Osnabrück. Following some difficult initial years, the company develops into one of the largest in the sector.
Georg André (a grandchild of Georg Rudolf) reminisces:
On 7 December 1835 the Bavarian Ludwig Railway between Nuremberg and Fürth opens and this date is celebrated as the birth of the railway in Germany.
On 30 November 1835 Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) is born in Florida. He becomes a distinguished American author. He passion for smoking pleasure is expressed in a number of his aphorisms:
The French author George Sand (1804–1876) was one of the first women to smoke a cigar in public.
Friedrich André dies on 5 February. His widow takes over the business for an interim period. Friedrich leaves behind one daughter and five sons, including Georg Rudolf (1809-1861) and Friedrich August.
On 24 May 1819 Alexandrina Victoria of Hanover is born. She is later to become Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland with the longest reign in history to date (1837–1901), Empress of India (1876–1901), eponym of the Victorian era as well as, on account of her abundant number of offspring marrying into virtually all the royal families of Europe, the nickname “grandmother of Europe”.
Tobacco worker Johann Friedrich Christian André, born in Hanover-Hainholz in 1775, moves to Osnabrück in 1799 and marries Katharine Adelheid Ruwe in the same year. In 1817 Friedrich André starts his own tobacco factory thus laying the foundations of the André cigar dynasty.
In the summer of that year Karl Drais (1785-1851) rides his ‘Draisine’, through the city of Mannheim, showing his invention for the first time in public. Drais’ two-wheeled ‘running machine’ is regarded as the precursor to the bicycle.
Goethe’s “Italian Journey” is published.
500 students celebrate the first Wartburg Festival in Eisenach.