It all started with his handcart. With this symbolic transport vehicle, the young Wilhelm Horn delivered his first goods in Leipzig as early as 1923 and quickly makes a name for himself.
Wilhelm Horn soon opened one of his first owned stores on the Johannisplatz. A complete success. Here the wine is still bottled from the barrel.
Starting in 1925, the residents of Leipzig's West have reason to rejoice. Wilhelm Horn opened his own specialist liquor and wine store in Leipzig-Lindenau.
There's no such thing as "We don't have it". Wilhelm Horn produced Korn, Weinbrand, Steinhäger, Boonekamp, Getreidekamp and and and. The variety of brands and products is amazingly broad from the very beginning.
Wilhelm Horn is always present with its own floats at Leipzig carnival parades. It is not only his brand that shapes the city. Wilhelm Horn is considered a patron of the fine arts. As a modern employer, he is a formative and sometimes dazzling member of Leipzig's urban society.
As early as 1926 - three years after the first handcart - the first motorized vehicles were ready to deliver the wines and liqueurs. They dominate the Leipzig cityscape and streetscape. The company grows and grows.
Splendidly illuminated and visible from afar is the Gohlis sales office from 1928.
Heavily decorated stores with modern illuminated advertising present Horn's wines and spirits not only in Leipzig, Halle and Dresden, but also in Grimma, Oschatz, Weißenfels and many other central German cities.
Next to the claim, the distinctive post horn stands for the Wilhelm Horn brand. The post horn is probably the best-known Leipzig company logo of the time. It can be found not only on all labels, but also in shop windows, on delivery trucks and, of course, in the salesrooms and wine bars. Horn's "Horn" has a high recognition value and is considered by connoisseurs as a "sign of quality and value for money"
What a selling point! Wilhelm Horn knew how to lure his clientele into the stores. For example, in Horn's liquor store in Leipzig-Reudnitz - here a photo from 1929
A touch of elegance. The staff of the brandy factory poses for the group photo. Wilhelm Horn has taken up position in the back row.
The prominent neon sign on the facade of Horn's Bar at 33 Arndtstrasse catches the eye. This was the company headquarters until 1934. The gateway leads to the production facilities in the backyard.
From Arndtstraße, the delivery trucks take off in all directions - even as far as the surrounding area of Leipzig. Horn's fleet grows and grows.
In the 1930s, Horn's fleet of vehicles not only supplied the liquor stores in the trade fair city, but also the branches in the surrounding area - here, the sales branch in Wurzen is currently being supplied.
The demand for Wilhelm Horn's products rises and rises. The company is bursting at the seams in the Arndtstrasse. From 1934 onwards, production is carried out on a grand scale at the new headquarters in Gohliser Wilhelmstrasse, today's Prellerstrasse. The factory is a stunning building, more reminiscent of a castle than a spirits factory.
Not only the imposing factory building, but also the mighty wrought-iron signet of the gateway to the new factory premises in Leipzig Gohlis testify to the entrepreneur's pride.
Starting on October 1st, 1934, the boss and the staff passed through this gate every day to produce, bottle, label and package the best wines and spirits in the distilleries, wine cellars and production halls.
The heart of Horn's new distillation - a 400 liter still, condensation bell and tube, column, dephlegmator and cooler. No matter whether vodka is distilled or a noble distillate, the process is always the same - alcohol is extracted from mash by heating and then cooling the resulting vapors.
Behind old walls are modern and bright production rooms, equipped with "state of the art" technology.
Strict quality control - before filling, the glass bottles are carefully rinsed, cleaned and their condition is checked.
Horn's noble drops flow through numerous filling spouts into the special type bottles provided for this purpose. From the ¼ liter piccolo to the 3 liter double magnum, from the perfectly designed elegant noble brandy bottle to the bulbous Franconian Bocksbeutel flat ball bottle, everything is filled, corked and packaged day in and day out.
Especially during the Christmas season and on New Year's Eve, customers pop the corks. Shortly before the holidays, bottling and corking goes on day and night.
Labeling is mainly a woman's job, because here special accuracy and care is required. At the same time, each individual bottle brings the brand and the good reputation of the Horn company to the table. And everything has to fit perfectly!
In the deep cellars and labyrinths of the cellar, there were 500,000 stored bottles with an enormous range of products from all over the world: from the original Stonsdorfer Kräuterbitter from the Giant Mountains, genuine Caribbean Jamaican rum, Indonesian Batavia Arrac brandy to Danziger Goldwasser from East Pomerania. Of course, you will also find Horn's aromatic Boonekamp Magenbitter and Echte Leipziger Allasch.
In Horn's wine cellars, they meticulously check the maturity and quality of the noble drops. Bottling and corking takes place daily. At peak times, for example just before Christmas, the cellar masters worked day and night.
Where people work together, they also celebrate together - Wilhelm Horn had taken care of the "team spirit" in his company from the very beginning. Here you can see him in a group photo - it's the casual gentleman on the bottom right.
People like to stop in there - Horn's Wine Bar - here the restaurant in the main Arndtstraße branch - are well-known and popular. Especially because of the rustic and opulent décor. One enjoys fine wines from all over Europe and also from the Rhine, where Horn runs his own vineyard.
Rustic furnishings, lush wall paintings and everywhere the defining Post-Horn - Wilhelm Horn knows how to provide his guests with a cozy evening and make them forget the turbulence of contemporary history for a moment.
Whether ice caraway, cherry brandy or abbey liqueur, Horn made a wide range of spirits and always knows how to put his products in the best light.
When night falls in Leipzig, the noble cars drive up and the taverns shine in modern neon light. Here, night is turned into day.
World War II put an abrupt brake on the company's growth. The air raids on Leipzig in the fall of 1943 also caused great destruction. The heaviest bombardment took place on the morning of December 4, 1943, and also hit the factory site in Leipzig Gohlis.
After war, destruction and reconstruction, a new era began for Wilhelm Horn in the GDR. The company was unable to repeat its economic heyday - captured in this watercolor from 1938 - in the socialist planned economy, although demand was still enormous between 1945 and 1989.
In 1948, Wilhelm Horn celebrates the 25th anniversary of his brandy and liqueur factory in Leipzig. The congratulators' floral greetings were lavish.
In 1963, the founder celebrates the 40th anniversary of the company with his employees. Soon the company is to be fully nationalized and run as VEB Sektkellerei Leipzig. Wilhelm Horn himself is successively forced out of his company.
The next chapter in the company's history begins directly after German reunification in 1990. Klaus Horn, the son of the company founder who died in 1969, founds WILHELM HORN LEIPZIG GmbH & Co. KG. Here he presents the new product range to the Saxon State Minister for Economics and Labor, Karl Josef "Kajo" Schommer, at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1991.
In 1993, Klaus Horn is awarded for its product quality, the gold medal of the German Agricultural Society (DLG) by the Minister of Agriculture of the Free State of Thuringia, Dr. Volker Sklenar.
In 2015, Thomas Schneider and Lutz Thielemann join forces and jointly take over brand rights, recipes and the great company history from the hands of Klaus Horn. The new Wilhelm Horn Markenspirituosen GmbH was born. Their first project is the renaissance of ECHTER LEIPZIGER ALLASCH with an old recipe in a new satin designer bottle.
Since the mid-2010s, Wilhelm Horn Markenenspirituosen GmbH has been a fixture in Leipzig's nightlife and cultural scene with its growing range of products. LONG HORN Handcrafted Lipsk Dry Gin is fast becoming the favorite of gin lovers.
This is something to celebrate - at the prestigious World Spirits Awards 2017, LongHorn Gin won twice. In the European competition, it achieved a silver medal from a standing start and prevailed against top-class competition. Here you can see Managing Director Lutz Thielemann with the founder and organizer of the World Spirits Awards, Wolfram Ortner. At the global competition in San Francisco in April 2017, Longhorn Gin even won the bronze medal in the gin category.
Maintaining customer relationships are important: Here Lutz Thielemann with Michael Faupel, Managing Director of Konsum Leipzig eG.
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