Industrial Era 1899-1950
1899 – UNION® was founded in January 1899 by Wilhelm Feuerhake in Fröndenberg, Germany. What was initially known as “Wilhelm Feuerhake & Co.,” the company started by producing bicycle chains with 13 blue collar and 2 white-collar employees in rented facilities. Two years later, a factory was built in Fröndenberg.
1905 – By the end of 1905, Union had begun producing bicycle pedals, and the number of employees grew to 210 blue collars and 15 white collars. Two years later, the company started their own production of spokes and nipples.
1913 – By 1913 Union was a mass producer of bicycle
components and by the end of the year had production
numbers of 43,700 pieces of chain, 68.5 million spokes
and nipples, and 387,000 pairs of pedals. The number
of employees shot up to 535 blue and white-collar workers.
1914 - Union began to produce front and rear hubs.
After the First World War, a large demand for bicycles
helped to grow the bicycle industry. By 1919 Fröndenberg
employed 613 people. Production facilities soon
became too small for the growing company.
1921 – In 1921 the plant in Werl began production on
4,000 sqm. In 1925 they reached 6,000 sqm and
employed 235 workers. The plant produced handlebars,
brakes and crank mechanism.
1927 – The Union facilities in Fröndenberg grew, and in
1928 a new hall for pedal production was built. Employees
multiplied to nearly 1,200 people.
1937 – In 1937 bicycle pedals began to include reflectors,
which became very important to the pedal market. UNION
bought the licensing rights, but was not allowed to produce
reflectors themselves. They needed to look for a supplier,
which they found in Eisenach/Thüringen.
Revolutionary Era 1950 – 2000
1964 - Union bought the former “BERKO”-factory in Berlin, which was a traditional producer of lighting systems. The production of Union dynamos began in Berlin. The facilities in Berlin-Tegel covered 6,000 sqm and employed 130 people. In 1988 Union Berlin delivered nearly 2 million bike dynamos and more than 2.7 million bike lamps.
1979 – In 1979 Union went to America to establish its market there. The plant “UNION Fröndenberg USA” in Olney / Illinois was founded and was to produce pedals and spokes. In 1979-1980 Union built new facilities on the
outskirts of Fröndenberg, as they had far outgrown the
original plant in the middle of town.
1995 – In 1995 the Union brand was acquired by MARWI® Group.
Visionary Era 2000 & Beyond
2013 – A sub-brand Union Sport was created, and a branch office was established in the United States.
2014 – Union Sport launched a brand new saddle line incorporating new technology.
Evolution of Union Logo
For more than a century, the Union logo has stood the test of time and has grown in recognition throughout Europe. The look and feel of it holds a sense of tradition and old-school class. In the process of rebranding, we brainstormed logo ideas for the new sub-brand and created the new Union Sport logo to introduce innovation and sleekness to the brand while still maintaining the integrity of its parent logo. The angular text represents agility and speed. And while the logo upholds the shield of the original Union logo, it integrates the letter “U” into the shape of the shield as a sign of creativity and invention. We chose the color blue to express that our brand is productive and trustworthy. The logo evolution represents the shift in emphasis toward performance, striking looks, and superior quality with Union Sport.