Mahr | Company history

From visionary pioneer to global player

Starting as a small family business in the Swabian town of Esslingen, Mahr has stood for innovative metrology, metering pumps and ball bearing guides all over the world for over 160 years. As a leading company, we have developed from visionary pioneer to global player. We are proud of having achieved and accompanied many technical milestones and we will continue to pursue this claim on ourselves – we are ready for the new technologies of the future. 



The parent company is founded by Carl Mahr in Esslingen am Neckar. The first product is the caliper gage, which in the following years will be a valuable and indispensable tool, especially in the expansion of the railway network.


Introduction of the meter

One of the most important dates in Mahr's history: With the introduction of the meter and thus the standardization of inch, foot, cubit, rod and mile, Mahr's meter rulers and calipers could be sold to workshops and factories throughout the region.


The Rocking Horse

Mahr develops the first mechanical length measuring machine that achieves an accuracy of 1/1.000 mm when read off the vernier: the rocking horse.


German Standardization Committee

Oscar Mahr, the son of the company founder Carl, who died in 1899, is co-founder of the German Standards Committee and managing director of the Esslingen factory (Figure).


Feinprüf GmbH in Göttingen

After the death of his father Oscar, Carl Mahr II manages to expand the family business: the factory in Göttingen is opened. The business flourishes, Mahr's punctuality and accuracy is highly appreciated by customers.


Spinning pump production

After the war, the Mahr company continues to gain in importance and expands its area of competence: in addition to the production of precision tools for industry, the spinning pump production starts operations.


Production of the first ball bearing guides

The expansion of the product range is progressing: under the management of Carl Fritz Mahr, the son of Carl Mahr II, the portfolio is supplemented by the production of ball bearing guides.


Start of internationalization

With increasing importance for plastics on the market, the production of spinning pumps is experiencing an upswing. The foundation stone for Mahr's global career is laid and the first foreign companies are founded in France and the USA – the beginning of the internationalization of the Mahr Group. From here, from 1984 onwards under the management of Thomas Keidel, the great-great-grandson of the company founder, Mahr expands both its locations around the world and its product range.


Surface and form measurement

Since 1971, Mahr holds a financial stake in Dr. Ing. Perthen GmbH, whose founder Johannes Perthen is considered the inventor of surface metrology in Germany. In 1973, Mahr completely takes over the Hanover-based company, which is also a leader in form measurement. The first product catalog for Perthen surface measuring devices with the Mahr logo is published as early as 1974. This enables the company to expand its product portfolio to include surface and form measuring devices.


Restructuring and growth

At the beginning of 1995, the decision is made to rename all individual companies and subsidiaries, such as Carl Mahr GmbH & Co. KG, Millimess GmbH or Feinprüf Perthen GmbH: In the future, they are to bear the name Mahr and the corresponding place name, i.e. Mahr Göttingen GmbH or Mahr Esslingen GmbH. The new uniform Mahr logo is an overarching figurative mark symbolizing this merger. At the same time, Mahr is able to significantly increase its profitability by developing several innovative products in production metrology.


Mahr Metering Systems GmbH

The branch for spinning pump production "Feinprüf Spinnpumpen" becomes independent: "Mahr Metering Systems GmbH" is founded.


Economic upswing

After turbulent years and events such as the financial crisis in 2009, Mahr finds its way back to its old strength. Shareholder Stephan Gais leads the company as CEO and Chairman of the Management Board. Supported by the resumption of the economic upswing, he leads Mahr to the highest sales year in the company's history to that point.


Patented wirelss technology

Mahr's electronic handheld measuring devices are equipped with wirless technology, which is a real innovation.


Expansion of management

The management team is restructured. In addition to CEO and Chairman Stephan Gais, the management team includes three other members. In 2016, Manuel Hüsken joins as authorized signatory and VP Global Sales. From 2019 onwards, he leads sales, marketing, application technology, service and the Engineered Solutions division as Managing Director. For the Mahr Group, he is appointed CSO and member of the Group Executive Board.


Digitalization & new markets

One of the strengths of the globally active Mahr Group is its innovative strength, especially for the aerospace, mechanical engineering, automotive, medical technology, photonics and electronics industry, and the energy sector. There is movement in the world: Topics such as electromobility and digitalization are becoming increasingly important and are thus part of Mahr's strategy for the future. CEO Stephan Gais moves to the Advisory Board of the Mahr Group in 2021 and hands over the position of CEO and Chairman of the Management Board to Manuel Hüsken.

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