“It was a cold day. During the night a heavy snow storm passed over Northern Germany.           The village Ottensen was hidden by snow. The coachdriver brought the first news.” The habour was very heavily damaged. Several ships have sunk. Tne early train is overdue. The editors sat around, doing nothing, because the telegraph lines were cut.”

In the early morning hours the door was opened in a new workshop in the “Große Brunnenstrasse”. Two young men covered with dark coats, the top hat pressed onto their head, left the building, went through the snow towards the steward`s office. They wanted to deposit their foundation document.

Founders  J.A.Menck&A.Hambrock                                      Ottensen Gro0e Brunnenstrasse

Since their student times at the “technischen Hochschule Fredericiana in Karlsruhe” the two friends have made plans night after night and now their time has come.

Already in 1869 the young factory Menck&Hambrock displayed its products at the  “Schleswig Holsteinischen Landes Industrieausstellung”. It had been a great success: The 2 PS strong moveable standing tube steam  boilermachine was awarded a price. The offered locomotives with 2-20 PS were technically far ahead of the competitors.

The steam piling rigs are described in a brochure from 1871 like the following: “With this steam piling rigs the hammer is raised by an endless chain of flat links.The chain is continously in motion and the hammer is raised by a hook splipping between the links. By pulling out the hook, the hammer gets free and falls on to the pile”.

Another achievement in 1876 was the vertical geschweißte Quersiederdampfkessel. As the first boiler manufacturer  Menck&Hambrock were able to build a boiler, which was impossible to be holed. In 1879 already the 500. boiler was sold.

About 1888 Menck&Hambrock started with the development of excavator machines.                  In a small corner of the factory II, the developers did experiment on the “Indish shovel” .      The bucket, like a scraper was pulled through the ground by a winch. Two years later a complete bucket was available: the “ ancestor” of the shovel for the first Menck-shovel on tracks. In Mai 1894 the first shovel was offered (brochure 63) and this was the first shovel to be offered on the continent. The biggest model had a 2 cbm shovel, excavated 100 cbm per hour and had a weight of 40 to and  a prize of  26200,- Goldmark.

Everthing has started with 28 employees and now already 228 worked in the factory and offices. There was a great variety of machines on offer: steam piling rigs, boilers, compressors steam, or electrically driven, steam hammers, habour- and railway cranes, loading platforms and the first shovel. This machine started to be very sucessful.

During the installation of the sewerage system nearly every piling rig was a Menck machine with steam hammers .

The factories got connected to the railway system .

In 1895 Adolf Menck lost his friend and companion Dietrich Hambrock.

His sons Hans and Carl joined the company in 1897, after they had finished their studies. Menck&Hambrock became a PLCThe technical management was taken over by Hans Menck and the management of the commercial part, incl. the branches in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Mannheim, München and the agencies in the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Norway and Russia, by Carl Menck.

1901 The first shovel and universal-excavators steam-or electrically driven left the factory.        The newspapers reported: “The first factory on the European continent, which builts excavators with the brakeable dipper door”. That was a Menck patent.

1908 Sale of the 100. shovel and 4000. boiler. In 1914 the 500 shovel was sold.                                  The excavators became bigger and bigger, the biggest one had a weight of 150 to.

1919 the company founder Mr. Johannes A.Menck died, leaving his sons a big heritage in very a difficult time.

The number of employees grew up to 1200 workers. A children`s home, the “ der Viktoriastift”, which became later a canteen, was bought.

The range of production was corrected and the remaining machines earned a great reputation all over the world. Now there had been enough space to develope a new Menck-Excavator-Generation. The time for the models M II to M IV with diesel engine began. Additionally the first quarry excavators models “B to E”, with up to 3,3 cbm dipper capacity and either electrically or with diesel engine , were built. In the pile driving construction, the half automatic Menck steam hammers (up to 5000 kg weight) were very successful.

Hans Menck was awarded a honorary title as Dr.Ing. e.h by the “Technischen Hochschule Berlin-Charlottenburg”. He died unexpected in 1930. In 1935 Carl Menck also died.  The management was taken over by the works manager  Mr. Dipl.Ing.A.Vogler.

After 1933 the models “Mo to Md” were buil, here the electrical welding technique for steal-construction was use for the first time.

1937 the factory had a workforce of 1475  and the production range could be read as follows: excavators, dozers, steam-and electric driven piling rigs, steam and diesel hammers.

The special quarry excavators models “DN and EN”, which were used in many german quarries, were build from 1938 onwards.

Sunday, the 1st of February 1948. Still 141 days left until the day of the great change, the currency refom on June 20th.                                                                                                                                            Only health, a home, the daily soup and the work in the factory were counting these days.        Nearly every tenth employee was killed during WWII, twenty thousand squaremeters of rubble were in the four factories.

That was the heritage of the third generation of the founder family, when in 1946 the grandson Dipl.Ing. Walter Cordes took over the management, he was supported by Dipl.Ing.Adolf Vogler.  Did the sons of the founders the transposition of Menck&Hambrock from normal engineering work to one of the leading construction plants, so now it was the credit of Mr. A.Vogler, to lead the company through the difficult past years.                                                                                                   

In 1946 the production of excavators was started again, under the first one was i.e. the quarry excavator model “DN”.

The main model in these days was the LK 46, a light crane, first on tracks and later with crawlers. With this machine the damaged cities were cleaned up, peat for heating was loaded and so on.                     

In 1948 time had come for the new constructed Menck-Universal-Excavators: stronger diesel-and electrical engines, new undercarriage  with wider caterpillar pads, bigger digging radius and bigger dipper capacities.                                                                                                                                           These excavators became the appropiate followers of the famous models “Mo, Ma, Mb, Mc, Md.

New production techniques were used und the production for dozers was pushed ahead. Bulldozer and angledozer attachments were offered, crawler wagons and scrapedozers were being tested on many construction sites.The Menck service and spare part service were improved, it got a own part on the factory area and inspections for the Menck machines were introduced for free.

After 1948 the following models were offered: M 150, C 250, M 152, M 75, M 250, M 60, M 40, M 90 .  The special quarry excavator model “DN 2” with 4,5 cbm dipper capacity came in operation in 1961.

The workforce grew up to 2100 (1963).

Because of further developments and modifications the Menck-program looked like this:                  (i.e. 1965) M 60, M 60 SC/LC, M 90, M 154, M 251, C 251, C 252/3, D 360, DN, DN2, SR 53, Mr 18,  MR 27, MR 40, MR 60, MR 100, automatic hammers, vibration hammers, semi-automatic steam hammers, mechanical/hydraulic piling equipment for the universal excavator models M 60, M 90 and M 154.

A cooperation was arrange in April 1966 between Menck&Hambrock and the Koehring Company/ Milwaukee  U.S.A. Koehring took over the share majority of 69,52 % from former family members. The intention was to open new markets and to sell hydraulic excavators made by Koehring in Europe. Unfortunately these models were to weak for the requirement of European construction sites and so these models became a disaster for Menck.

In 1968 One Hundert Years Menck&Hambrock!!!

The last member of the family Menck, Mr. Ing. Walter Cordes left the company on the Dez, 31st.

Menck tried to change its fate and got the approval to develop new hydraulic excavators.              These models had been well built and strong, but the potential customers had bought their machines already with other companies, like O&K, Demag or Liebher and so on.

With only cable excavators Menck wasn`t longer competitive.

And so the story of Menck&Hambrock ended in 1978.

The follower company, the Menck Gmbh (P.L.C.), is the worldwide leading manufacturer  for  Offshore-and Onshore hammers.