We are one of the world's leading manufacturers of hoists in the heavy lift sectorBut we have not always been. In fact, the history of our company begins in 1852 with a single lathe in a workshop in Elmshorn.
Elmshorn was not the modern city of 50,000 people as we know it today. In fact, it wasn't even a city, just a “guild-capable spot”. In the eyes of the then still Danish administration, only a little more than a larger village. Geographically, however, Elmshorn was in a good position: the “Ossenpad”, the Ochsenweg, ran along here. A centuries-old trade route on which cattle were originally driven along from the north to be sold at the market in Hamburg. And since the Krückau, which flows into the Elbe, was not yet silted up and therefore navigable by large ships, supply and demand came together here.
In fact, the Elmshorn port was an important transshipment point, especially since the sailors of the Danish whale and sealer fleet docked here to be re-equipped and repaired after their long voyages in Greenland. The city's four shipyards were busy. Back then, wood was the main material and there was always a need for skilled craftsmen.
One of them was the master turner Hinrich Wilhelm Mohr. His father had a freighter, so he knew his way around shipping - and knew which parts of a ship were the most susceptible to repair: the blocks and the rollers of the rigging running in them. “I can do better!” He said to himself and bought a house on Elmshorner Hafenstrasse. The family lived upstairs and he set up a workshop downstairs. His most important tool: a lathe driven by pedals.
Hinrich Wilhelm MohrMohr was a perfectionist and in fact it didn't take long for the expression "Mohr-Block" to stand for long-lasting quality and flawless craftsmanship. The wood-turned pulleys sat so well in their housings that working with them literally went smoothly. In addition, they were more stable and more durable than those of their competitors.
When he handed over the business to his son Hinrich Christian Mohr in 1892, the list of customers included not only shipowners and shipyards from Hamburg, but also the Baltic ports from Aabenraa to Königsberg ordered the blocks they needed in Elmshorn.
What has distinguished the Mohr family over all generations - in addition to their entrepreneurial talent, a feeling for the needs of customers and enthusiasm for good craftsmanship - the openness towards technical innovations. Shortly after Nikolaus Otto started production of his gas engine in 1877, Mohr had one installed so that it could be used for machine production in the future. While others were still discussing the advantages of blocks made of iron, Mohr set up a forge to meet customers' requests for increasingly stronger loading gear. One of the first pneumatic hammers in Germany was at Mohr, and as early as the 1940s the company had everything it needed for steel processing: drilling machines, punches, shears, metal lathes and various forging units.
Investing in people and technology
Complicated orders were seen as a challenge: in 1948 the first multi-disk blocks with a payload of 50 tons were built - a record back then! And it was not the only one: In 1977 the heavy lift ship "Gloria Virentium" was launched at the Lühring shipyard in Brake. On deck: two cranes with a total lifting capacity of 800 tons. Blocks and traverses for what was then the “strongest ship in the world” came from Mohr.
Today Mohr-Hebetechnik (the company was renamed in 1989) is based in Horst, about ten kilometers away from Hinrich Mohr's first workshop on the crow flies Elmshorner Hafenstrasse. Much has changed since then: the markets have grown, the demands of customers have grown. The oil and gas industry, offshore wind turbine construction ... - the motto everywhere is: higher, bigger, heavier. The desire for lifting capacities of several thousand tons is no longer uncommon.
We are prepared for the future: The last blocks made of wood were made in 1958 for the German Navy training ship, the Gorch-Fock. Today MHT is a modern steel construction company with an exceptionally good reputation throughout the industry in terms of manufacturing know-how and production possibilities. And even if the Mohr family is no longer on the management board, we still represent their old values: love for good craftsmanship and quality, openness to progress and the courage to take on new challenges.