History 1875 - 1945
Johann Andreas Ludolph Bauer (1852 – 1941), a lithographer, laid the foundation for today’s international media empire in 1875. At the age of 23 he opened a print shop in his flat near Hamburg’s dockyards. The focus of his business activities: stylishly designed business cards. From 1896 Johann Andreas Ludolph Bauer publishes the Christmas advertising paper Weihnachts-Reclame-Zeitung.
Johann Andreas Ludolph Bauer appoints his son, Heinrich Friedrich Matthias Bauer (1874 – 1949), likewise a trained printer, as a partner in his company, which now employs 20 people. A paper business is affiliated with the family printing house. The new working capital of company J.A.L. Bauer & Söhne includes a rapid press and a typesetting machine.
Rothenburgsorter Zeitung, a free advertising paper, is published with a starting circulation of 20,000 copies.
Heinrich Friedrich Matthias Bauer’s son, Alfred (1898 – 1984), like his forebears a printer and typesetter by trade, joins his father’s business.
Alfred Bauer founds the “Extrablatt am Montag”, which will later become a sports paper. The Extrablatt comprises eight pages and costs 20 pfennigs.
Heinrich Bauer Buch- und Verlagsdruckerei acquires a piece of property in Hamburg’s tradition-steeped Kontorhaus district across from the Chilehaus and Sprinkenhof office buildings. The current company headquarters are erected in Burchardstrasse.
The family-run business publishes the weekly radio magazine Rundfunk-Kritik with a circulation of 15,000 copies. The magazine is later renamed Funkwoche and from 1949 is published as Funkwacht. It achieves what at the time was a substantial circulation of more than half a million copies sold.
Alfred Bauer is named personally liable partner to join his father, Heinrich, at the helm of the individually owned company “Heinrich Bauer”.
During the war years 1941/42 the Bauer family company was forced to discontinue publication of its magazines due to paper shortages, as were many other magazine publishers.
In 1943 the publishing house in Burchardstrasse is badly damaged during air raids.