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In 1949 the mobile tower crane was invented

The invention of the tower crane is synonymous with the birth of the Liebherr company. Within the first decade, the small construction company developed into a well-established manufacturer of construction machinery and many other high-tech products.

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In 1949 the mobile tower crane was invented
In post-war Germany, many parts of the country had to be rebuilt. Hans Liebherr ran his parents’ construction company in southern Germany. He recognized the need for tools and machinery for the construction and home building industry. In 1949, together with designers and businessmen, he developed the first cell tower crane. The TK 10 is easy to transport and easy to install on site. It was also the first product of the Hans Liebherr machine factory founded in Kirchdorf in 1949. After following the next model, the production of cranes in Liebherr accelerated and the construction company became a manufacturer of construction machinery.

1952-54 Expansion of product range
In the late 1950s, gears to make gearboxes were hard to come by. To be able to produce cranes, Hans Liebherr started to produce his own gear milling machine.

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When Hans Liebherr rented a cable excavator in 1953, he noticed a poor power-to-weight ratio. Eight months later he presented Europe’s first hydraulic excavator – the L300. It is four times lighter than a rental machine. Serial production of this powerful engine started in 1954.
1954 From construction machines to refrigerators
For Hans Liebherr, impetus for new business areas sometimes comes from personal contacts. The entrepreneur learned about the factory sale of refrigerators from the manager of a local bank branch.

Through product research, sales and market data, Liebherr recognized the device’s enormous potential. Only every ten households in Germany currently have a refrigerator – and as the economy grows, demand increases. Hans Liebherr decided not to buy the company, but set up his own production facility at the southern German factory in Oxenhausen. The first refrigerator was built there in 1954, and series production began a year later.

Lightweight and powerful: with the L300, Hans Liebherr builds the first hydraulic excavator in Europe.

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The range of construction machines was expanded in 1956 to include machines for the production and conveyance of concrete, which Liebherr has produced in Bad Schusenried ever since.

1958 Expansion to Europe and Africa
Founded as a company in Germany, Liebherr ordered its first factories abroad in the 1950s. To enter the UK and North American markets, the company is building a manufacturing facility in Killarney, Ireland. Tower cranes were originally built here, followed by container cranes, shipyard cranes and special cranes. The first company outside Europe was founded in South Africa in 1960. Hans Liebherr set the course for the group’s international orientation.
1960. Beginning of aviation activities

1955: Advertisement for a Liebherr refrigerator

Through active collaboration, Hans Liebherr’s involvement in aeronautical engineering began in the late 1950s. In March 1960 he founded the company Liebherr-Aero-Technik GmbH in Lindenberg im Allgäu (Germany). From the start, the goal was to develop and produce prototypes in-house. The company will move from licensed manufacturers to its own components and systems; from device manufacturers to system suppliers. In 1996 the company changed its name to Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH.

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