Heinrich Kleyer (1853-1932), entrepreneur and pioneer, founds a small machine business in Frankfurt am Main and sells bicycles imported from England. One year later, Kleyer begins the industrial manufacture of bicycles, becoming the first in Germany to do so. KleyerÕs numerous new developments and the firm's own velodrome help to make cycling a popular pastime.
1886 First Adler low-gear bicycle
The rapidly growing company becomes the corporation Adler-Fahrradwerke vorm. Heinrich Kleyer. In 1886 the Darmstadt-born entrepreneur introduces the innovation of the pneumatic tyre to Germany and brings the first Adler low-gear bicycle onto the market. In 1887 Kleyer becomes Purveyor to the Imperial War Ministry and receives numerous state contracts for bicycles and tricycles.
1889 New factory built on Hoechster Strasse
Construction is commenced on the first new factory. The factory is located on Hoechste Strasse (today known as Kleyerstrasse), where the entrepreneur had purchased a large site covering 18,000 m2 two years previously. On this site, located alongside Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof, the massive complex of the Adler factories will take shape over the next few years.
1898 "Empire" typewriter
Bicycles are not the only things to be produced on Hoechster Strasse. Kleyer demonstrates his keen intuition for future-orientated technologies by beginning factory production of typewriters, once again as the first entrepreneur in Germany to do so. The first results are released onto the market under the name of Empire. A record number of people are working as stenotypists and typewriters take offices by storm.
1899 Adler Motorcar No. 1
Kleyer takes the plunge into the automotive industry. At the 1900 Automobile Fair in Frankfurt, he presents the first Adler motorcar. A few short years later, there are 20 different Adler models to choose from. The company now changes its name to "Adlerwerke vorm. Heinrich Kleyer AG".
1900 Legendary Model 7
The legendary Adler Model 7 typewriter comes onto the market. It is to establish the international reputation of Adler office machines. As an elegant finishing touch this technically brilliant office machine bears the company décor on its protective cover. In 1910, production of office machines begins. In 1913, the first portable Adler typewriters come onto the market.
1914 7,000 employees
Before the outbreak of the First World War, the Adler factories employ around 7,000 people. Since the company's formation, well over 100,000 Adler typewriters have left the factory. 55,000 cars drive on Germany's roads, one in five of which is an Adler. During the war, production has to be shifted to lorries, ambulances and special engines.