Emil Ziehl, founder of ZIEHL-ABEGG, born 22 May 1873, died 1 June 1939.

1886 – Still in the family's possession, the freehand drawing of the girl done by Emil Ziehl represents a momentous turning point in the life of this creative mind, and with it the origins of ZIEHL-ABEGG.

1897 – Emil Ziehl's design drawing of the first external rotor motor – still the foundation for modern drive technology.

1900 – Emil Ziehl obtained the principle patent for this electrically driven gyroscope held in gimbals in 1900. Ships, aircraft and moon rockets would not be able to navigate today without this gyroscope.


1909 – The ZIEHL-ABEGG factory in Berlin-Weißensee got its own spur from the works railway and was fitted out for the series manufacture of electric motors with the latest mechanical engineering systems and a rationalised production line.

1910 – The workshop flooded with light in Berlin was equipped with all the latest machinery and technical advances for the complete, end-to-end production of motors (100 m long and 20 m wide).

1918 – The company's own exhibition space showing products manufactured by ZIEHL-ABEGG in the factory building in Berlin-Weißensee.

1919 – Propeller dynamo on the Graf Zeppelin airship. A letter of appreciation still in the family's keeping from airship builder Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, documenting the outstanding performance even then of the F.-T. high-voltage generators for the Graf Zeppelin airship.

1935 – After many years of success Emil Ziehl celebrated the company's 25-year anniversary with his employees, customers, suppliers and local representatives.

1941 – Graduate engineer Günther Ziehl took over the management of ZIEHL-ABEGG at the age of just 28. He devoted his life to maintaining and furthering the goals and values passed on and entrusted to him by his father.

1947 – Heinz Ziehl, the younger brother of Günther Ziehl, joined the company at the end of the Second World War and dedicated himself to the success of ZIEHL-ABEGG at Künzelsau. He saw great potential for the ventilation system industry in his father's drawing of the external rotor motor.

1949 – Emil Ziehl's invention – the external rotor – remains the basis for ongoing elevator motor developments

1955 – New start, production resumes and development of the external rotor motor begins in rented premises on the first floor of elevator company Stahl in the Schlossmühle in Künzelsau.

2006 – FE2owlet – Unique bionic profile takes the world by storm

2008 – Opening of the visionary InVent Technology Centre at the Künzelsau site with its globally unique test chamber for fans.

The wing housing the air performance and acoustic test chambers assumes overwhelming proportions: the 1,250 ton concrete structure is supported by springs to reduce vibrations and external noise during the sensitive noise measurements carried out on the fans.

Huge, oversized air ducts convey the vast air mass needed to test the fans in the test chamber through the building.

2011 - The Formula 1 Royal League meets the Royal League of industrial fans
Cpro ZAmid technology (from left Dennis Ziehl, ZIEHL industrie elektronik GmbH, Peter Fenkl, Chief Executive ZIEHL-ABEGG SE, Formula 1 World Champion Niki Lauda, Norbert Schuster, ZIEHL-ABEGG SE Executive Board).

2012 – ZAwheel – Gearless electric in-wheel hub drive for commercial vehicles, with unbeatable efficiency (90%) and emissions (0%) stats, has been successfully developed for the electric urban bus market.

2013 – Ground-breaking ceremony for the new 16,700 m2 ZIEHL-ABEGG drive systems plant. The new production site will be located right next to the A6 Kupferzell exit.

2014 – Hannover Messe: Chancellor Angela Merkel visits the ZIEHL-ABEGG stand at the fair.

2014 – The new visionary production facility, next to the A6 European arterial route, at the Kupferzell exit, is complete. ZIEHL-ABEGG opens the new facility for the Drive Technology and Automotive business areas.

The blue era | History

On 2nd January 1910 Emil Ziehl founded ZIEHL-ABEGG in Berlin Weißensee. This marked the beginning of the blue era, and from these early beginnings the company went from strength to strength. This story of success is founded on Emil Ziehl's pioneering inventions, such as his patented developments in the field of electric gyroscopes and the gyroscopic compass that formed the basis for the external rotor motor developed by Emil Ziehl at the turn of the century.

This educated, highly gifted engineer and creative mind achieved worldwide recognition for his developments.