Founded in 1836 as a forge, Gebrüder Heinemann Maschinenfabriken AG was based in St. Georgen, in the Black Forest and grew to become a medium-sized industrial concern, surviving until the 1990s. From around 1850, two sons of the founder, Christoph Heinrich and Jakob Heinemann took control and developed the enterprise into a small machine-tool company with 60 employees and offices in both Chemnitz and Berlin.
Until the 1880s, the Company made a wide variety of products including forged parts, small lathes, hand tools for the watchmaking trade and even individual watch and clock parts. As trade flourished, a wider variety of heavier machine tools was introduced including milling machines, shapers, planers and various sizes of both simple and complex conventional, capstan, multi-tool and production lathes - as well a number of rather more specialised types including what was known as their "eccentric" model and others for use in the optical trade.
After WW1, having lost a son in the conflict, the Heinemann family set up a foundation to educate promising engineers from poorer families at the Grand Ducal Baden Baugewerkeschule (later to become the Baden Higher Technical Institute) with the Foundation continuing until after the Second World War. After the latter conflict, with production machinery confiscated by the French, times were hard but, forced to start almost from scratch, the Company employed only the latest technology and, as a result, production was to boom during the 1950s. By the 1960s so great was the demand for labour that the then CEO, Hans Heinemann, even recruited workers from Spain in order to expand the Company further.
By the 1970s a new market had opened in the former Soviet Union for whole production lines but this success was not to last and in 1979 the Company was declared bankrupt for the first time.
In the early years of the 21st century the company buildings were demolished; the estate of the Heinemann family, as well as sections of the Company archives, are now owned by the Historical Society of St. Georgen.
The shapers shown on this page were all current during the 1920s and, while not distinguished in any way, would have been amongst the first to offer the option of a proper built-on motor-drive system. Heinemann shapers are also found badged, amongst others, as Karger, (better known for their high-class lathes, and the English Company Selig Sonnenthal.