Founded in 1665, in Germany since 1853: The history of Saint-Gobain

The history of Saint-Gobain begins in 1665, when the French King Louis XIV awarded the financial man Nicolas Dunoyer and his partners an exclusive manufacturing privilege for mirror glass - with the aim of breaking the monopoly position of the Republic of Venice on the European mirror market.

Very soon the royal mirror glass manufacturer produced the revolutionary table rolling process. The main production site was in Saint-Gobain, a small village in Normandy. Since 1684, mirrors from Saint-Gobain have decorated the Gallery of the Royal Palace of Versailles near Paris.

In 1853 Saint-Gobain opened its first location outside France - in Germany.

Saint-Gobain in Germany

Milestones in the 19th century

1853 Saint-Gobain is active for the first time in Germany with a mirror factory in Mannheim

1857 The group acquires the “Aachener Spiegelmanufaktur AG” based in Stolberg, Germany

Saint-Gobain in Germany

Milestones in the 20th century

1905 Takeover of the “Glashütte” in Herzogenrath near Aachen

1920 Saint-Gobain opens a central office in Germany based in Aachen, which coordinates the German branches as well as the Saint-Gobain shareholdings in glassworks in the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Hungary

1927 Saint-Gobain presents the SECURIT safety glass

1930 Entry into the production of reinforcing fibres. The F-Glas department is opened in Germany. 50% stake in Glaswatte GmbH Bergisch Gladbach.

1960 TEL process is introduced in Bergisch Gladbach

1966 First German float plant in Porz

1970-80 Expansion of the group of companies in Germany through the acquisition of companies in the activities of pipeline casting (Halbergerhütte), insulation materials (Grünzweig + Hartmann) and packaging (Glashüttenwerke Kipfenberg)

1990 Saint-Gobain opens up further markets: Abrasives and Ceramics & Plastics through the acquisition of the international Norton Group

1991 Majority stake in Saint-Gobain Oberland, packaging glass

1992 Takeover of Flachglas Torgau including the glass branches. Market launch of PRIVA-LITE glasses which become opaque at the push of a button

1999 Acquisition of AnnaWerk which manufactures fireproof materials

Saint-Gobain in Germany

Milestones in the 21st century

2000 Acquisition of the leading building material trader Raab Karcher in Germany with branches in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Hungary. Entry into the Building Distribution branch.

2001 Acquisition of Keramundo, the leading tile manufacturer in Germany

2004 ULTIMATE High-performance insulating material with high fire protection at low weight

2005 Purchase of British Plaster Board BPB, which was represented by Rigips and Gyproc and BPB Formula in the region. The gypsum field of activity is newly created under the Construction Products division

2007 Focusing the Saint-Gobain strategy on the markets for habitat design and introduction of the Multi-Komfort concept. Rigips Climafit board with graphite for more efficient heating and cooling ceilings

2008 Takeover of MAXIT completed. Saint-Gobain doubled the extent of its activities in the field of working mortar

2011 Saint-Gobain Sekurit ClimaCoat all-weather windshield

2013 Environmentally friendly facade plasters with AquaBalance technology, awarded the Federal Ecodesign Prize and the IKU innovation prize

2015 350th anniversary of Saint-Gobain

2016 Introduction of the massive Rigips Habito residential building board. Saint-Gobain Sekurit introduces TouchControl: different functions in the glass pane are activated by finger pressure