It was in January 1899 Wilhelm Feuerhake founded the company Wilhelm Feuerhake & Co. in Fröndenberg for the manufacture of bicycle chains. 2 years later a factory was created in Fröndenberg.
In July 1905, the company UNION Gesellschaft für Metallindustrie mbH was created in Fröndenberg following a partnership between Wilhelm Feuerhake & Co. and its supplier of steel wires C.D. Wälzholz necessary for the manufacture of the chains.
End of 1905 UNION produces pedals for bicycles, 210 workers are employed in the factory. Two years later the production of spokes and spoke heads began, which were used in the assembly of bicycle wheels.
In 1913, UNION became a major manufacturer of bicycle components with 43,700 bicycle chains produced, 68.5 million spokes and spoke heads and 387,000 bicycle pedals by 535 workers.
In 1914, the production of front and rear hubs began. After the First World War, the need for bicycles and therefore for parts and accessories increased, UNION had 616 employees at that time. Given the exponential production volumes, a 4000m² factory was opened in Werl in 1921, it was then enlarged in 1925 and 235 employees produced there handlebars, brakes and cranksets for bicycles.
In 1927, the Fröndenberg factory was enlarged, 1,200 employees working there in 1928.
In 1936, UNION invented the "NOVA" chain whose breaking strength reached 1000 kgs instead of 750 kgs for the chains available on the market at that time.
1,500 employees worked in the Fröndenberg factory in 1937. That same year, reflectors were integrated into the pedals in order to improve the visibility of the bicycle and therefore of the cyclist. The reflectors or reflectors will be manufactured by a subcontractor named MELAS located in Eisenach / Thüringen. This company will subsequently be purchased by UNION. The production of TOLO pedals began at this time.
In 1938, UNION manufactured 4 million chains, 230 million spokes and spoke heads, 4.1 million pedals, 1.1 million hubs by more than 1,700 employees.
During the Second World War, the needs stopped and the Fröndenberg factory which had been destroyed was rebuilt in 1948, it made it possible to meet the strong needs for bicycle production after the war.
In 1954, the Werl factory was rebuilt, UNION at that time had nearly 1,800 employees.
UNION diversifies by producing chains, lights and pedals for mopeds and motorcycles.
In 1964, UNION bought ERKO located in Berlin in a 6000 m² factory supported by 130 employees, a lighting brand and the first UNION dynamo was developed.
In 1979, UNION established itself in the United States by opening a factory in Illinois to produce pedals and spokes.
In 1988, 2 million dynamos and 2.7 million lights were manufactured in the Berlin plant.
In the 90s a new factory was opened in the Czech Republic, the Fröndenberg and Werl productions were transferred to this factory.
Since 1995, UNION has been part of the MARWI group.
MARWI UNION today :
Marwi manufactures and distributes bicycle components such as pedals, tools, chains, hubs, brake pads, cables and housings, batteries, speedometers, lighting systems and accessories under the UNION brand. worldwide.