History

The New-York Hamburger Gummi-Waaren Compagnie (NYH) is a rubber factory, founded in 1870 producing in Hamburg Barmbek until 2009. In 2009 the production was relocated to Lüneburg.

In 1839 Charles Goodyear discovered the process of vulcanization. He experimented until he found the perfect composition. With heat he could harden the rubber. Shortly after that the grinding machine was invented and another ten years later, these two inventions merged for the production of a very special device: the comb. Possibly for the first time people understood the relationship between order and beauty. Other types of combs probably already existed in earlier times, initially formed with ones own fingers, then of wood, metal, hippopotamus tooth, ivory, horn – and finally of unsurpassable quality since 1852, hard rubber. In 1851 Henrich Adorf Meyer, son of an industrial pioneer, acquired the patents for Europe and in 1856 he founded the Harburger Rubber-Goods Compagnie with Johannes Bücking und H. W. Maurien in Barmbek.

In 1870 two former employees of the Harburg Rubber-Comb Company founded the New-York Hamburger Gummi-Waaren Compagniein Barmbek. In 1929 the Harburg Rubber-Comb Company was acquired by NYH. In 1952, the production site in Barmbek was sold and the entire company relocated to Harburg. From that time the masterpieces of hairdressing were manufactured with machines, which were deployed for over a century. Even the employees were mostly already in the second or third generation. As production boomed and the NYH experienced one of its most successful times in the beginning of the sixties, there were 1,160 employees and eight million rubber combs were produced per year. Meanwhile, there was no longer just one comb. It was further developed and produced for a variety of occasions: curling, straightening, backcombing and many more. The comb became a status symbol for many. Particularly men saw it as a valuable accessory, to make a parting and to comb.

These combs and other beauty products were available under the traditional brand name Hercules Sägemann and especially popular amongst hairdressers because of its exceptional quality. Nowadays, those who discover golden lettering on a comb can be sure to have a masterpiece of ebonite in their hands. Other sub-brands are sold under the name Matador and Triumph. Furthermore, the company produced molded rubber components or clarinet mouthpieces. Manual production methods remained existent for decades. In 2009 the company moved to a modern production site in Lüneburg together with its 200 employees. The old factory in Hamburg-Harburg where the Harburg Rubber-Comb Company and the NYH produced for over 150 years is nowadays partially a listed monument. In Lüneburg the former “rubber-comb” Company has modernized and serving as a supplier for well-known companies it looks positively into the future. Especially hairdressers and stylists as well as end consumers, appreciate the masterpieces of hairdressing and their unique quality. Hercules Sägemann combs have become an integral part of every professional hairdressing salon.