For over 260 years, Gerlach has accompanied Poles in their kitchens and dining rooms.
Steeped in tradition spanning over two centuries, Gerlach combines timeless elegance with the highest quality of products manufactured, the latter having been recognised with numerous awards and distinctions.
Filip Szaniawski begins construction of an iron blast furnace in Kuźnice Drzewickie in order to restore Drzewica to its former glory from before numerous wars and natural disasters. This moment constitutes a starting point for the development of the factory in Drzewica.
Acts of war cause a maelstrom in the history of the factory. In 1824, however, Samuel Gerlach, a craftsman educated abroad, begins the manufacturing of knives and surgical products.
For his appreciation of quality of the products manufactured by Samuel Gerlach, the Russian Tsar Nicholas I gives his permission for the logo of Gerlach SA to contain the crown which has remained there ever since.
Following the death of Samuel Gerlach and his wife, the leadership of the factory is taken over by one of its workers at the time – the cutlery foreman August Kobylański. He marries Emilia, the oldest daughter of Samuel Gerlach, and they jointly purchase the factory in Drzewica.
Samuel Gerlach’s grandson Samuel Kobylański restarts the operations of his grandfather’s factory under the name of ‘S. Kobylański dawniej S. Gerlach’ (‘S. Kobylański, formerly S. Gerlach’) in Warsaw.
Considering that the factory is on a winning streak and demand for its products is growing, Samuel Kobylański and his brother Bronisław purchase the site at Kuźnie Drzewickie (the Drzewica Forges) that has been put up for sale.
They establish a spółka komandytowa (limited partnership) under the name of ‘Bracia Kobylańscy Fabryka Wyrobów Stalowych dawniej Gerlach’ (‘The Kobylański Brothers Steel Products Factory, formerly Gerlach’), and modernise the plant in Drzewica by improving its manufacturing technologies and diversifying the range of products it offers..
Upon the outbreak of World War I, the factory experiences a difficult period, and acts of war partially destroy the plant. It is only after the war that the Kobylański brothers resume manufacturing at Kuźnie Drzewickie (the Drzewica Forges).
Samuel and Bronisław transform the enterprise into a spółka akcyjna (joint-stock company) under the name of ‘Kobylańscy Spółka Akcyjna dla Przemysłu i Handlu Wyrobami Stalowymi’ (‘Kobylańscy Joint-Stock Company for Industry and Trade in Steel Products’), and the leadership of the plant is taken over by Samuel’s son Kazimierz Kobylański. The factory undergoes a number of reforms and new departments are launched.
World War II gets in the way of the enterprise’s dynamic development and many of its employees join the ranks of the army. Despite this, however, Kazimierz Kobylański manages to restart a limited amount of manufacturing activity in the autumn of 1939.
By order of the Nazi authorities, the plant is liquidated. The machinery and workers are taken to Guben, Germany.
After the war, Poland manages to reclaim about ⅔ of the machinery seized by the Germans, and the plant operates under national management at the time. In 1951, it is renamed ‘Fabryka Wyrobów Nożowniczych Gerlach’ (‘Gerlach Cutlery Factory’).
The growing demand for Gerlach’s products brings about expansion of the factory premises, the establishment of the Semi-Finished Products Department and the Tableware Department, construction of a warehouse, and commencement of the manufacturing of knives for harvesting machinery.
The celebration of the 150th anniversary of the company takes place, and the summaries of the company’s activity to date show dynamic and impressive development compared to previous years. The manufacturing of innovative kitchen products commences, including poultry shears, potato knives and dinner services. In the 1970s and 1980s, the Gerlach brand becomes synonymous with tableware all around Poland.
The company is first converted into a joint-stock company wholly owned by the Treasury, to be then converted into a joint-stock company in 1995.
Since the moment of the most recent transformation of the company and its acquisition by private ownership, increasingly strong development follows and the company progresses up the ladder that leads to the top of the rankings of the best Polish brands.
Gerlach develops the range of its products by introducing kitchen vessels into the market, including pots and frying pans, which quickly gain recognition among customers. The expansion of Gerlach’s product range through the introduction of new kitchen vessels contributes to the rapid and considerable increase in the company’s turnover.
Gerlach S.A. today
Today Gerlach is a dynamically developing company that gradually implements modern solutions and draws on a rich centuries-old tradition. Over the last few years, the range of products offered by Gerlach has been considerably expanded, and the company’s products, which are of consistently high quality, continue to win renown among consumers. Thanks to all this, Gerlach is the best-known brand in the cutlery and kitchen knives market in Poland, which has been confirmed in recent years by distinctions won in the prestigious Superbrands contest, as well as other awards and titles.