tesa’s success story begins with the unsuccessful development of an adhesive bandage. Paul C. Beiersdorf, a pharmacist, was at work on the bandage when Dr. Oscar Troplowitz took over the lab from the company’s founder in 1890. The bandage adhered excellently, but was irritating to skin. Troplowitz made a virtue of necessity and, in 1896, launched the first technical adhesive tape.
Today tesa is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of self-adhesive product and system solutions for industry, professional craftsmen, and consumers. Follow us into the exciting history of tesa and tape technology.
The tesa success story starts with the unsuccessful development of an adhesive plaster. The pharmacist Paul C. Beiersdorf worked on it when Dr. Oscar Troplowitz took over the laboratory of the company's founder in 1890. The plaster adhered perfectly but irritated the skin. Troplowitz made a virtue of necessity and in 1896 launched the first technical adhesive tape for patching bicycle tires, the 'Cito-Sportheftpflaster' (Cito Sports Adhesive Plaster).
The name 'tesa' is invented.
The brand name tesa® goes back to the secretary Elsa Tesmer, who from April 1903 to the end of October 1908 worked as a clerk and head of the office for the Beiersdorf company in Hamburg. She created the brand name from the first two letters of her last name (Te-) and the last two letters of her first name (-sa).
tesa® as a brand name for a toothpaste tube
At first, the brand name tesa® was used for a variety of products. For example, it decorated a patented tube for Pebeco Toothpaste. Unfortunately, the new tube design with a rotating mechanism was not very successful.
The birth hour of tesafilm®
The enormous success of tesafilm® is intricately linked to the industrial manager Hugo
Kirchberg (1908-1999), who joined Beiersdorf in 1934 and was given the task of developing and systematically expanding the company's adhesive tape business. When selecting the brand name, he chose the protected name tesa® proposed by Elsa Tesmer – Initially, in 1936, simply as tesa® adhesive film, later as tesafilm®. Kirchberg soon noticed that a combined roll-off device was important. Thus, he invented the tesa dispenser.
Creation of the umbrella brand tesa®
Five years later, another product is created and turns into a classic. With the market launch of the masking tape tesakrepp® tesa develops into an umbrella brand for all self-adhesive products manufactured by the company. The short form tesafilm® is derived from the product name 'tesa® adhesive film'.
The development of tesamoll®
In the early 1950s, many buildings in Germany were still destroyed or severely damaged by the war – and high-quality building materials were in short supply. This gives tesa engineers a brilliant idea. They wish to develop a product that could be used by everyone to seal windows and doors without being particularly skilled in terms of craftsmanship and without spending great amounts of money. In 1954, the product developers invent a self-adhesive sealing profile made of plastic foam. A year later, the strips are available on the market under the name tesamoll®. Today, the product is still remarkably successful internationally. In warm countries, tesamoll® protects living spaces from heat, sand, and insects.
Kati conquers the tesa world
The company makes a name for itself with a series of unconventional TV commercials on German television. For three years, the cheeky and cheerful Kati appears on TV screens every Friday – right before the evening news. The little girl explains to her dad how tesa® tapes make life in the house and garden easier. After the 1968 movement and the beginning of the emancipation of women, tesa captures the contemporary zeitgeist.
tesa as BDF division
Beiersdorf introduces the four divisions cosmed, medical, pharma and tesa – they represent the prerequisites for the further expansion of the adhesive tape business.
The first plant outside of Europe – Sparta (USA)
The first large tesa plant outside Europe opens its doors in Sparta, USA. The company is thus leaving a first 'footprint' in North America, an important center of the international automotive industry. Customers from other industries are also supplied from Michigan.
In the year of the company’s 25th anniversary, a new large-scale facility is put into operation at the tesa plant in Offenburg. Thus, the total usable area of the location increases from 4,000 to 65,000 square meters.
tesa® Fly Screen – a bestseller
Consumers can now protect their homes from pesky insects without much effort: The tesa® Fly Screen celebrates its premiere and turns into a bestseller.
Presentation of the new tesa® logo
The brand name tesa® has always been an important part of the logo. The uniform design that has been used all over the world since 1990 symbolizes the essence of the brand tesa®: The bonding of two parts.
Nails, screws, and similar tools are becoming ever more obsolete thanks to the introduction of the patented tesa Powerstrips® Technology.
tesafilm® for data storage
Two scientists from Mannheim discover that tesafilm® is suitable for data storage. And even though there won't be a 'tesa ROM' on the market any time soon, the further development of the technology today protects branded products from counterfeiting and safeguards original products from theft along the value chain. Together, the two researchers and tesa found tesa scribos GmbH.
tesa revolutionizes the printing and paper industry
Thanks to the introduction of the EasySplice® Technology, today tesa is the world market leader in this segment. This technology enables a safe and extremely fast bonding during "flying" roll changes.
From corporate division to independence
The original tesa division turns into tesa AG, a 100% affiliate of Beiersdorf AG.
New solvent-free production technology
A new solvent-free production technology developed by tesa is used in the plant in Offenburg. First, all masking tapes, and later also other products, are converted to the environmentally friendly process.
A new plant is built in China in record time – Suzhou, Jiangsu
To be closer to its global customers, particularly from the automotive and electronics industries, on December 8, tesa opens a plant with a research department in Suzhou, China.
tesa joins the United Nations Global Compact
Against the background of global challenges, tesa, as an international company, sees it as its responsibility to reconcile social, ecological, and economic concerns and to align its business processes to a sustainable economy. To express this understanding, since 2006, tesa is a member of the United Nations Global Compact.
tesa receives a new affiliate
"Labtec Gesellschaft für technologische Forschung und Entwicklung mbH" becomes a fully-owned tesa affiliate. The company develops special dosage forms for active pharmaceutical ingredients as an alternative to pills and tablets. Labtec specializes, among other things, in active substance patches, so-called transdermal therapeutic systems, and orally soluble films.
A unique production facility in Hamburg
A state-of-the-art clean-room unit and the globally unique ACX production facility for the production of new double-sided adhesive tapes are launched in Hamburg.
Green products for the office
The growth driver in the office and stationery sector is the assortment of particularly environmentally friendly products grouped under the sub-brand tesa® EcoLogo.
"Powerful" adhesive tapes for the construction industry
tesa® ACXplus is a new generation of double-sided adhesive tapes for structural bonding, for example, in the construction industry. To date, it is the strongest and most powerful range of tapes – It offers secure bonding of materials with different surface characteristics, optimally balances tensions thanks to its visco-elastic properties and withstands extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
The tesa Group breaks through to the sales billion
At the 2013 press conference, tesa reports sales of EUR 1,000.2 million for the financial year 2012, conquering the 'magic' billion mark for the first time.
New tesa Campus
Over three years, the new company Headquarter of tesa SE is being built near the Hamburg airport. At the Norderstedt location, Marketing and Administration share a building with Research & Development as well as the Technology Center. With a cost of approximately 160 million Euro, the new building is the largest investment in tesa history.
Smart mounting with "nie wieder bohren"
tesa SE acquires the company "nie wieder bohren ag” from Hanau, Germany. The range of around 100 products featuring a traceless removable mounting solution perfectly complements the tesa portfolio of smart mounting systems. High-quality bathroom accessories are now available in more than 1,500 shops of the ten largest DIY stores in Germany.
Three acquisitions in one year
The international tesa family is expanding: As of March, the Twinlock division of the Dutch Polymount International BV is a fully-owned affiliate of tesa SE. Twinlock features a special technology for assembling printing clichés in the growing market segment "flexo printing".
The company FormFormForm Ltd. based in London expands tesa’s consumer business with its patented moldable adhesive Sugru®, a versatile product that supports the trend towards sustainability and is mainly marketed online.
Functional Coatings, based in Massachusetts, USA, specializes in special adhesive sealing tapes for the construction sector and strengthens the tesa division Building Industries.
Expansion of the location in China
tesa starts expanding its site in Suzhou, China. Investments of more than 30 million Euro are planned, including the creation of a clean-room production unit. The extension serves to create additional capacities in the factory for the production of special adhesive tapes for the coming generations of electronic devices. Furthermore, tesa is expanding its Chinese Customer Solution Center, where tesa experts are working with customers on innovative product solutions.
"Green light" for the plant in Vietnam
In May the decision is made to build a new plant in Haiphong, a port city in Northern Vietnam. The total investment is around 55 million Euro. The tesa Group will hereby strengthen its presence in Asia, significantly increase capacities and thus shorten the distance to customers and suppliers.