160 years ILLIES – #TBT / Throwback Thursday

We are turning 160 years. A great opportunity to go on a throwback #tbt as if it were 1859  - back to the early days of the company in Japan. On this occasion we are sharing some impressions from our company history. Take a look at our gallery to see how it all began:

The company was founded in 1859 in Nagasaki by the German merchants Louis Kniffler and H. M. Gildemeister as the trading company L. Kniffler & Co.
1866 Carl Illies entered the company. He quickly rose to the executive level, responsible for the Yokohama branch. He took over the business on March 31, 1880.
On April 1st, 1880 the company was officially registered as C. ILLIES & CO.

Under the leadership of Carl Illies, the company actively supported Japan's Industrialization by representing, for example, industrial companies such as Krupp. The contract with Krupp was signed on September 1st, 1887.
ILLIES supplied Nippon Tetsudo Railway Company and Kyushu Railway with Krupp rails for the construction of the Japanese railway infrastructure.

Another infrastructural project ILLIES was engaged in – by means of the representation of a Scottish manufacturer – was the development of a central water supply system for the city of Hokatate. ILLIES delivered pipes, pumps and accessories.
The company was highly reputed in Japan. The proof of this is still standing in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo: The Nijubashi Bridge. The contract to procure and assemble the materials for this prestigious project was awarded to ILLIES in 1886.

Back then, ILLIES was also involved in steam shipping. On January 8, 1889 an agency agreement with HAPAG (Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft) was signed.
Within its shipping department, ILLIES arranged the journey for many passengers and goods. Some of the guests were quite exotical: for example, the Circus Hagenbeck and its animals, which went on a tour through Japan.

Stay tuned to find out how the story unfolds..
In the next publication we will show you that customer centricity is not just a modern buzzword for ILLIES, but a company tradition. We will take you on a tour through our service stations depicting how customer service developed over the course of time.