Short chronicle of the LHS-Germany GmbH


LHS-Germany GmbH today is a company for the sale of blasting powders, blasting equipment, black and smokeless powder. We are located in Nordheim vor der Rhoen.  LHS-Germany was founded in 2002, succeeding the established firm of Leopld Hartmann, formerly Chr. Hartmann.

A short overview of our history will illustrate the establishment and development of our company.

The castle Gebsattel in Sondheim vor der Rhoen

For 140 years, the company's premises were located in a castle in Sondheim vor der Rhoen, which first belonged to the family von Waltershausen. On January 28, 1372, the castle was sold by Heinrich von Waltershausen to Gyso von Steinau. In 1689, the castle was acquired by Lieutenant Colonel Ferdinand Gottfried von Gebsattel who gave his name to the "Schloss Gebsattel". Until 1851, the castle remained in possession of the heirs of Gebsattel.

After some changes in ownership, the merchant Christian Hartmann bought the castle with grounds for 4000 guilders in 1859. He founded the company Hartmann by establishing a goods store in the castle. A chronicler tells us that the company "exported the products of the Rhoen mountains: roots, herbs, berry juices, game, etc."

Fruit wines wines were produced in the ample cellar rooms. The store was opened in 1862 and in the same year, Christian Hartmann took over the newly established mail room. When in 1898 the railway line from Mellrichstadt to Fladungen was opened, he was one of the first to use the line for part-load traffic.

Until 2002: The Leopold Hartmann company is located in the side wing.

On January 1, 1899, Christian Hartmann handed his business over to his sons Gustav and Leopold. They distributed the company among themselves and continued to lead the two businesses separately. Gustav Hartmann took over the fruit press under the name of "Christian Hartmann, Inhaber Gustav Hartmann, Großherzoglich-Sächsischer Hoflieferant" (Christian Hartmann, owner Gustav Hartmann, purveyor to the court of the grand duchy of Saxony). Leopold Hartmann continued the core business with its focus on materials, alcohols, cigars, flour, grains and the delivery of honey and game under the name of "Leopold Hartmann, vormals Christian Hartmann, Großherzoglich-Sächsischer Hoflieferant" (Leopold Hartmann, formerly Christian Hartmann, purveyor to the court of the grand duchy of Saxony)

Both businesses remained in the family. The successors of Gustav Hartmann expanded his business. They invested in large structural alterations of the premises and turned the company into a modern manufacturing business for fruit wines and berry juices. These beverages are now produced in the fifth generation in Sondheim vor der Rhoen in the castle Gebsattel ("Schloß Gebsatte") and are sold under this name.

Leopold Hartmann expanded his business and introduced a delivery service for explosives at the beginning of the 20th century. Sales of explosives rose with the increasing mining of Rhoen basalt. With the expansion of the train service in the Rhoen, more and more basalt could be mined for road and track construction. This benefited not only the Hartman company but the entire region in general. Sondheim's neighbor village Nordheim established a basalt quarry with a cable runway in 1897 which took up business in 1898.  Hundreds of workers from the region worked there and until 1970, the quarry employed over 100 people.

After the death of Leopold Hartmann in 1935, his son Rudolf took over the company.  Witnesses of the time tell us that workers from the quarry at the Rothberg - which belonged to the Nordheim basalt quarry - brought explosives and blasting equipment from Sondheim by foot, in backpacks.

Rudolf Hartmann expanded the business in the 1950s.  He began with the manufacture of explosive magazines and stores which are still produced today.

Rainer Hartmann, the last member of the Hartmann family to own the company

After the death of Rudolf Hartmann in 1962, his widow Helen Hartmann led the company.  She have up the store and the grocery trade in 1970.  Her son Rainer Hartmann ran the branch dealing with explosives and blasting equipment.  He expanded the business by including blasting accessories, as well as the whole sale of black and smokeless powders for the European continent.

In the field of blasting equipment,  the company with its wide array of products is among the top suppliers in Europe.  After the construction of two explosive storage buildings in 1966 and 1967, a new modern storage building was erected in 1980.  In 1984, the company bought the property in Nordheim vor der Rhoen with office and storage rooms which is now the seat of the company.

Big changes unfolded on July 1, 2002, when Rainer Hartmann sold his company to three leading employees.  The CEOs Roland Ehwald, Friedhelm Landgraf and Horst Landgraf are now leading the company under the name of "LHS-Germany GmbH" with 12 employees.  

On March 12, 2005, Rainer Hartmann died after enduring a long heavy illness at the age of only 60 years.  

Today, the company as three main branches: Explosives and priming agents, blasting equipment, and black and smokeless powders.  Our "Yellow Catalog" is well known in the world of blasting technology.  Published first in 1975/76, it contains the most extensive product range of blasting equipment.

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