For us tradition means,
passing on knowledge, values, experience, passion
In 1848 A. Carl Groetsch founded the company in Burgthann and started the production of combs using various natural materials.
My father remembers that comb cutter machines, which are still a valuable part of the production chain, were powered by belt drives/straps. This was possible through an in-house hydropower in Burgthann.
Martin Christian Groetsch – the last comb maker Germanys
Martin Christian Grotsch – the grandson of A. Carl Groetsch moved in the beginning of the 19th century with many comb cutter machines to Rollhofen.
Next to the natural materials like horn, shell, ivory or wood, plastic was dominating in the end. The comb cutter machines were placed in storage and plastic injection molding machines were bought since not even the materials Bakelite and hard rubber could hold up.
I still remember many stories told by my grandparents that combs were missing and were missed after the end of World War 2. There were hardly any plastic granulates, so they had to shred toothbrush cups and cosmetic containers that were made from plastic to produce combs again.
Mid 19th century
That was also the reason why sons weren’t trained to become comb makers anymore but had to take an apprenticeship as tool makers. Thus, my grandfather became the last comb maker Germanys.
Hydropower in every generation
In the 1970s my grandfather Martin Christian Groetsch moved to Enzendorf which is directly located at the river Pegnitz. The first comb cutter machines in were powered by belt drives due to the hydropower Burgthann. In Rollhofen my grandfather was delighted to have the hydropower which produced the electricity that he needed for his machines. Considering that he chose a place with significant more water power.
From plastic to wood combs
It must have been hundret-thousands of combs that were made by my grandfather annually. Back then there was no way of recycling sprues (excess plastic that accrues during production) and the emerging flash (thin sharp plastic) that was stuck on each and every tooth- if even wished for- had to be removed mechanically.
Another point was the electrostatic charge. Do you know that feeling of your hair standing on end when you are using a plastic comb? All of that motivated my grandfather to address/take another look at the material wood once again.
Oldest Groetsch wood comb
The oldest verifiable Groetsch wood combs that I could find are from 1973. My grandfather first used native woods like maple, cherry tree and beech to produce combs. But the customers were hardly interested in those. Only after using materials like ebony, rosewood, violet wood, sandalwood and palisander customers were interested enough for him to hire more and more people.
The ecowave of the 80s caused the exotic woods to be less profitable and the native woods became popular again.
In 1991 my father Martin Groetsch took over the company as master toolmaker and optimized various production processes.
Yes. The old machines stayed. Sustainable and respectful handling of resources like wood and horn are a big part of our corporate philosophy. That’s the reason why we put up notices that all length can vary.
My father was not interested in cutting off more wood just so the comb would have exactly the length of, let’s say, 18cm. Our customers have always been glad about that.
Due to the cooperation with eco-hairstylists we were able to make high-quality hair cutting combs and also an entirely new product – spaghetti lifter/ salad server.
2020 – Today I (Melanie Groetsch) manage the company as fifth generation.
The following points are important for me:
- quality of the product
- my passion to be connected with the nature and making combs out of nature for conjure up a smile in your face
- live sustainability
- for minimum: CO2 neutrale production
- real handwork
- respect for the resources of wood and horn
- sustainalbe natural haircare