Here you can find out more about the beautiful MAROLIN manufactory in the small town of Steinach/Germany. From the history when everything started and what it became after the German unification.
The history of MAROLIN® is inseparably connected to the life of Richard Mahr (*1876, +1952), the founder of the company. The business was successful as a result of his talents, his work and his ability to make the right decisions at the right time. Richard attended school in Steinach and then started his training in painting figures at the company of Rudolph Apel in the village of Oberlind. The Apel company had been producing paper mâché crèche figures since 1844. Soon Richard was more interested in the production process than painting, so he started experimenting with various paper mâché mixtures.The Beginnings of the Moravian Church
Later at Apel, he left Thuringia to go to Berlin where he learned how to make models of the human body for teaching anatomy. During the following years he worked for several small companies - one of them was a porcelain factory.
On April 15th in 1900 he married Minna Köhler from the town of Lauscha. The couple had seven children.
Richard Mahr himself designed the first figures. These models followed the so-called „Nazarene style“ of the 19th century and were very demure in character.
All of the members of the family were involved in the production of Richard’s figures. Most of the finished products were sold through wholesale merchants in Sonneberg. In order to deliver the goods to these merchants, Minna, Richard’s wife, had to walk the 15 miles to Sonneberg with a huge basket full of figures on her back. Eventually the number of orders from the wholesalers increased and new staff had to be hired.
By 1910 besides the family there were ten workers and one apprentice in the little house so it was very crowded. The first side building was added at this time to provide space for merchandise and for production.
Around 1920 the Steinach-born designer Julius Weigelt joined the company. From then on he alone designed the figurines for MAROLIN®. His designs were rather traditional in style, much like those designed by Josef Bachlechner in Tyrol in the 1920s.
In the 1920s Richard Mahr started to market his products himself. He had his own booth at the trade fair in Leipzig and the first catalogues were printed. The brand MAROLIN® was an established business and the collection was expanded to include glass ornaments, wax figures, Christmas tree decorations and accessories for nativity stables as well as Easter products and traditional fairy tale figures and animals.
The enduring popularity of original MAROLIN® articles led to a gradual yet steady growth of the company. This success allowed for extensive renovations of the company building in the years following 2000, along with the construction of a factory outlet store.
In 2006, an impressive museum was established to chronicle the rich history of the company.
The dedicated individuals at MAROLIN® remain committed to upholding Richard Mahr's original philosophy and techniques. To delve into the masterpieces, please click here.