HARTMANN history header founders since 1818

HARTMANN: Going further for health since 1818

Our founders' stories

The HARTMANN GROUP began going further for health in 1818 when industrial pioneer Ludwig von Hartmann acquired the Meebold spinning mill. His son, Paul Hartmann Sr., later founded the Paul Hartmann Bleaching, Dyeing and Dressing Company, a dressing material factory that revolutionised wound care. Our founding fathers were more than industrial pioneers, however. They instilled a drive, optimism and commitment to improving healthcare that lives on in the business to this day. Thanks to them, we are still innovating, actively seeking to improve healthcare through: wound management, disinfection, risk prevention, incontinence management and personal healthcare.

Who was Ludwig von Hartmann?

HARTMANN history ludwig hartmann portrait

Ludwig von Hartmann was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1766. By 1791 he was the Director of the Heidenheim-based textile factory, Meebold, Schuumlle and Co. Under his management the company acquired a bleaching company and, in 1812, he built one of the first mechanical cotton mills, the Aelteste Verbandstoff-Fabrik of Germany.

Six years later he took over the company, renaming it the Ludwig Hartmann Company. It quickly became one of the largest cotton mills in Germany producing caps, stockings and handkerchiefs. By now Ludwig was one of the most important industrial pioneers in the Kingdom of Württemberg.

From Ludwig Hartmann to Ludwig Hartmann's Sons

In 1843 Ludwig handed over the bleaching plant and the spinning mill to his three sons: Carl, Eduard and Paul Sr. with the request that "two entities remain together and not be separated". Carl assumed responsibility for the management of the bleaching plant. Eduard took over the spinning mill in Herbrechtingen and Paul took charge of the Heidenheim cotton mill. The sons gradually brought the indebted company back to profitability changing its name to Ludwig Hartmann’s Sons.

HARTMANN history Ludwig Hartmann
Three pioneers, one vision
We have been working with medical professionals since day one. Their input has been and continues to be invaluable in helping us innovate and improve our products and services. One notable collaboration was that between Paul Hartmann Sr., Sir Joseph Lister and Professor Victor von Bruns.
HARTMANN history vcard small paul hartmann senior portrait
Paul Hartmann Sr.
was a rebel with a cause. He went against his father's wishes to stay in business with his brothers. Instead, he used the knowledge and experience he'd gained to forge his own business, the Paul Hartmann Bleaching, Dyeing and Dressing Company. With dedicated partners from the medical field, including Sir Joseph Lister and Victor von Bruns, he created a dressing material company that would change the face of wound care management forever.
HARTMANN history vcard small sir joseph lister portrait
Sir Joseph Lister
was an English surgeon. Inspired by Louis Pasteur's findings that wound infections were often caused by dangerous airborne microorganisms, he set out to find a solution. After several experiments he discovered that carbolic acid was a suitable disinfecting agent. He began soaking dressings in carbolic acid, creating the first ever antiseptic wound dressing. His invention was initially met with scepticism and rejection in England but Paul Hartmann Sr. recognised his genius. Together they developed the cost-effective carbolated gauze that would later be described as "the greatest turn in the history of surgery".
HARTMANN history vcard small victor von bruns portrait
Professor Victor von Bruns
discovered a way to removing grease from cotton, allowing the material to absorb a much larger amount of liquid. This invention marked a crucial turning point in the history of wound care. It opened the door to absorbent cotton and the subsequent industrial production of cotton wool dressings by Paul Hartmann in 1873.

The first company logo

HARTMANN history package logo

For the first company logo, Paul Hartmann opted for an adaptation of the Red Cross symbol modified to include the staff of Aesculapiu. It was registered as a trademark in 1883.

Our brand identity
Our logo has gone through many changes over the years.
  • HARTMANN history logo 1883
  • HARTMANN history logo 1906
  • HARTMANN history logo 1920
  • HARTMANN history logo 1938
  • HARTMANN history logo 1968
  • HARTMANN history logo 2008
  • HARTMANN-History-logo-07
{"_4ce7980a-125e-4d2c-84ee-9117572337ef":{"Title":"1883","Text":"Created when Paul Hartmann received his first major order of 400 pounds of surgical cotton wool for the St. Jacob Hospital in Leipzig. It deliberately mirrored the recently established International Red Cross symbol, associating HARTMANN with humanity.","Image":null},"_14cd2798-3eae-4f9f-a7c6-7ef2733b1374":{"Title":"1906","Text":"New laws dictated that the International Red Cross had exclusive rights to the coloured cross so HARTMANN changed its cross to white. It retained the Aesculapian staffs, however, to emphasise our medical heritage.","Image":null},"_9824d0c9-eaf8-4f3f-a6f3-724fc2a135af":{"Title":"1920","Text":"A general overhaul of the brand saw the white cross (which had become confused with the Swiss flag) become secondary to a red H, the first visual reference to the brand name.","Image":null},"_b5b77a8d-0b9a-4854-b1b1-ba8746c2e021":{"Title":"1938","Text":"The H octagon design was now well established so it could become secondary to a blue oval containing either the HARTMANN name with its new slogan \\\"HARTMANN helps healing\\\" or individual product names.","Image":null},"_ea483d90-db85-4007-8da8-03f5674cd8d8":{"Title":"1968","Text":"The blue oval’s role was now shorthand for quality and reliability so there was now a need for a uniform brand identity with just the one word: HARTMANN. As the oval starts to dominate, the octagon starts to recede although it is still an important part of our identity.","Image":null},"_25954b1e-83ec-4e77-bfed-b0ccf1d91503":{"Title":"2008","Text":"To celebrate 190 years of health innovation, HARTMANN revived its 1930s slogan \\\"HARTMANN helps healing\\\".","Image":null},"_e2069f37-6008-41c4-998e-a2fd3b77b986":{"Title":"2015","Text":"In 2015 we brought our logo to life by adding a 3D effect. This was done to make it more graphically flexible on different backgrounds and media.","Image":null}}
HARTMANN history ourvalues megateaser two women in hospital
Discover the values that define who we are as a business

We believe our three core values will drive us to go further for health: passion, partnership and professionalism.