In 1898, Adolf Messer started a company from his workshop in Frankfurt-Höchst, Germany, for the fabrication of acetylene gas generators. He employed four blue-collar workers and one salaried employee.

Today this company is known as The Messer Group and it employs some 8,600 employees worldwide in more than 30 countries.

Led by Stefan Messer, this year the Tier One major industrial gas player is celebrating its 120th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, the company will be publishing weekly chronological Facebook and Twitter posts each telling part of the ‘Messer story’.

In this anniversary year, Messer said its employees will benefit from many different measures with an emphasis on joing sports activities -a staff Olympics and a worldwide pedometer competition being just two of them.

The ‘Messer story’ in a nutshell

In 1898, Adolf Messer started production of acetylene lighting installations and acetylene gas generators. When electric lighting and incandescent gas lighting replaced acetylene lighting at the start of the 20th century, he concentrated exclusively on the production of equipment for oxy-fuel welding and cutting. Besides oxy-fuel technology, air separation units became the second pillar: Adolf Messer put his first air separation unit into operation himself in Madrid in 1910.

Under Hans Messer, the founder’s son, Adolf Messer GmbH merged with parts of Knapsack-Griesheim AG to form Messer Griesheim GmbH in 1965. In the years following the merger, the company grew in Europe and North America.

In 1993, Hans Messer took a step back from running the business and handed the reins over to a manager from outside the family. After a risky expansion course and the near-collapse of the company, the founder’s grandson, Stefan Messer, was eventually appointed CEO in 1998. Together with financial investors, he put the company back on its feet over a period of three years before restoring its status as a family-owned business in 2004. This marked the birth of today’s Messer Group GmbH.

The company has since focused on its core markets and the expansion of its ASEAN business. Together with the workforce of around 8,600 employees, Stefan Messer works in line with defined values and growth strategies.