Company history



Friedrich Fischer designs the ball grinder. This machine allows steel balls to be ground to an absolutely round state for the first time – and in large volumes. Thanks to this innovation, he lays the foundation for the entire rolling bearing industry. Thus, the worldwide success story of the ball bearing begins in Schweinfurt.

Later, 1883 is officially declared the year in which the company was founded.



Friedrich Fischer applies for permission to build a new plant near the train station in Schweinfurt – a step towards a new industrial dimension. The new plant produces 10 million balls per week. The company is incorporated one year later.



Friedrich Fischer suffers a stroke and passes away at the age of 50 on October 2. He does not have any children. With the death of this innovator and entrepreneur, his 400 employees lose the driving force of the company. The company’s financial situation worsens. This is also due to the persisting crisis in the ball industry, which is caused by overproduction, competitive pressure, protective duties, etc.



On July 29, the FAG brand is registered with the patent office in Berlin. The registered trademark FAG, which stands for Fischers Aktien-Gesellschaft, is protected in over 100 countries today.



Georg Schäfer takes over the “First Automated Cast Steel Factory, previously Friedrich Fischer, AG“ (“Erste Automatische Gußstahlkugelfabrik, vormals Friedrich Fischer, AG“) and converts it to a partnership by November 1.
Georg Schäfer’s strong personal commitment and hard work make the industrial company internationally renowned. Exports increase – also due to the excellent quality of the rolling bearings supplied – to 40 percent before World War I.



Rolling bearings are used in increasingly more automotive applications. Ray Harroun wins the first Indy 500 race in Indianapolis driving a Marmon whose engine is equipped exclusively with FAG ball bearings.


G. u. J. Jaeger in Wuppertal, founded in 1868 and acquired by FAG in 1933, develops the first cylindrical roller bearing that proves reliable in a large number of heavily loaded rail vehicles.



Johann Modler, an FAG engineer, develops the barrel roller bearing allowing angular adjustment (DRP no. 290 038 dated February 16, 1912).



The first needle roller bearings supplied by Dürkoppwerke in Bielefeld are used in the rear axle gears of large trucks. Dürkoppwerke was founded in 1867 and taken over by FAG in 1962.


The company celebrates its 30th anniversary. Colorful poster stamps are issued to commemorate the triumphant success of rolling bearings in automotive and industrial applications.



At the start of World War I, the company has 1,000 employees.



After the retirement of minority shareholders Kirchner and Kuffer, sole ownership of the company is passed onto Georg Schäfer and his associate Hermann Barthel.



Ceramic grinding plates for in-house ball production are manufactured in-house for the first time.



Tapered roller bearing production begins.



A struggle for the company’s independence. While nearly all other German rolling bearing manufacturers are bought up by the Swedish company VKF, FAG Kugelfischer remains independent. Large orders from Russia help the company survive.



FAG purchases G & J Jaeger in Wuppertal, production focuses on railway bearings and large bearings.



The first foreign subsidiary plant is established in Wolverhampton, UK.
The threat of war however, puts an abrupt end to the plant which was off to a good start. The staff have to be called back.



Subsidiary plants are established in Eltmann and Ebern to which sectors of production are transferred in 1943 and 1944.



15 serious bombing raids are carried out on the plant by the Allies from August until the end of the war.
83 percent of the Schweinfurt plant is destroyed where approximately 12,000 people are employed.

Schaeffler applies cookies to secure an optimal use. With the further use of this website you accept the application of cookies. More Information