At the beginning of Mannesmann‘s history stood a technological breakthrough: Reinhard and Max Mannesmann invented the world's first rolling process for the production of seamless tubes at their father's file factory in Remscheid. After many years of development work they filed a patent application in 1885. In 1886 the patent was granted and the rolling of the first seamless steel tube commenced.
With this invention as their capital contribution, by 1889 together with various partners they had set up tube works in Bous an der Saar, in Komotau in Bohemia (which at the time belonged to Austria), in Landore in Great Britain and in their native Remscheid.
It was not until the 1890s, however, that the brothers made the final technical breakthrough with the invention of the pilger-rolling process, which turned their concept into a truly marketable prospect and laid the basis for their economic success. The combination of pilger-rolling and pierce-rolling subsequently became known throughout the world as the “Mannesmann process”. It unlocked new potential in many fields of technology and revolutionized the engineering, piping and vehicle construction industries in the following decades.
On July 16, 1890 the previously independent continental Mannesmannröhren-Werke tube works were amalgamated to form the Deutsch-Österreichische Mannesmannröhren-Werke Aktiengesellschaft with head offices in Berlin. With share capital of 35 million marks, the new company immediately found itself among the ten largest corporations in the German Reich. Reinhard and Max Mannesmann were the first executive directors of the company, but stepped down from the board as early as 1893. In the same year the company moved its head office from Berlin to Düsseldorf.