L. Possehl & Co. mbH


1873 >> Growth in Europe

Ludwig’s eldest son, Emil Possehl, takes over leadership of the Company in 1873. This is the start of the heavy industrial period. Emil Possehl is one of the first to recognize the trend toward industry and plans his business activities accordingly.


The industrial revolution is in full swing in the 1890s; the German steel industry gives Possehl a market that permits business activities across Europe. In particular, Emil Possehl organizes the sale of Swedish ore in Germany and becomes the largest importer for iron ore imported from Sweden.


By the start of the First World War, Emil Possehl, now Senator of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, is able to quickly expand his Company, as he holds investments in iron works, steel works, limestone quarries, and iron pyrite mines, mostly in other countries. The Company’s own shipping business takes over Europe-wide distribution from way up north down to Lisbon and Africa.


Emil Possehl reorganizes Company structures in 1915. The existing departments from his Company are turned into independent trading companies. L. Possehl & Co. mbH becomes the parent company. This sets the foundation for an organizational style that still distinguishes the Company in the 21st century: the separation into one overarching company and its subsidiary individual companies.