Our History

Company History

In the year 1863, Lorenz Bommer perfected and patented a major modification to the existing single acting spring hinge. In 1880 he patented the world's first double acting spring hinge. These inventions were to become the cornerstone of Bommer Industries, Inc., a company founded in 1876 in lower Manhattan at a location currently occupied by a footing of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Lorenz Bommer was born in New York City in the year 1816 of American Dutch parents. Family grave markers at the famous Trinity churchyard in Manhattan date back to 1679. Lorenz started his hardware career in Cleveland, Ohio with the firm of Van Wagoner and Williams Hardware Company, a maker of hinges. During his early years in the hardware industry, Lorenz worked as a production engineer and spent much of his time experimenting with various engineering and production techniques.    An early invention of Lorenz was a form for pressing and blocking hats. This invention was never patented and others managed to realize significant financial success through its commercial application. Lorenz enjoyed life, music, and the arts.

Lorenz Bommer

Lorenz's first wife died in 1871 in New York City of a cholera epidemic, as did two of his three children. His son Emil was the only surviving child of this first marriage. After his wife's death, Lorenz sent for his wife's twin sister, who lived in Germany, to help raise his oldest son Emil. Within a year they married. This second marriage for Lorenz produced three children, William, Anton and Christine. Lorenz's second wife attempted to direct Lorenz's carefree lifestyle into more productive and financially secure activities. In 1876, Lorenz started his own hardware manufacturing company, and revolutionized the manufacture of spring hinges by using stamped sheet steel instead of iron and brass castings.

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