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Alfred Karcher was one of those inventors-entrepreneurs that Württemberg has brought forth in great numbers since the beginning of industrialisation – illustrious names such as Robert Bosch and Gottlieb Daimler, or Count Zeppelin. They fought to realise their ideas with enormous diligence and commitment.

A former employee sees him in retrospect as follows: When Alfred Karcher was in his element, when we were running trials and test, the atmosphere was simply exciting. He just couldn’t be stopped, he had a constant stream of new ideas.

In the early thirties Alfred Karcher specialised in the design of industrial submersible heating elements, i.e. in salt smelters which were heated with immersion heaters. After numerous experiments, a hardening furnace for alloys was produced, the so-called KARCHER Salt-Bath Furnace. 1,200 units were sold up to 1945.

Alfred Karcher was not to enjoy the fruits of his great invention. The company founder died from a heart attack on 17th September 1959 at the age of 58. He left behind his wife Irene, his nine-year old son Johannes and his three-year daughter Susanne.

Heat from Winnenden / A Visit to Alfred KÄRCHER, Makers of Heat Generators – that was the heading of an article that appeared in the Rems Valley” magazine in November 1960. The report concludes: Alfred Karcher initially specialised almost exclusively in the development, manufacture and distribution of heating systems. The first hot water high-pressure cleaners must also be seen in this context.

An extract from a description of the company that appeared in 1940:

The Alfred Karcher factory has grown from modest beginnings into an attractive industrial complex with spacious, buildings, wide streets and large storage areas. It originally built its own patented electric industrial furnaces, especially salt-bath furnaces (salt smelters) for tempering steel and hardening alloys.