1836 - Foundation of Franz Anton Mehlem stoneware factory in Poppelsdorf

After the ceramic industry gained a foothold in the Rhineland, it saw more and more porcelain and stoneware factories being established. Franz Anton Mehlem's two sons sensed their success depended largely on the location of their manufacturing plant and moved their pottery factory to the Rhine area in 1839/1840. Four kilns were in operation by 1841 and the first steam operated machine was installed in 1845.

After the second Mehlem brother died childless in 1865, the factory was taken over by entrepreneur Ferdinand Frings from Uerdingen, who joined forces with Cologne businessman, Franz Guilleaume, in 1874. After Ferdinand Frings of Uerdingen died suddenly shortly after forming the partnership, Franz Guilleaume took over the entire executive board at the age of 25.