Aerial Photos of Döllken

1926 Essen-Werden aerial (final)

This aerial photograph from 1926 was part of a series of overview pictures taken by Ruhrregion Association (which stil exists) in order to assist with building and maintaining infrastructure of the rapidly developing and growing Ruhrregion.  The publishing of these pictures represented the first time in the world that a region of this size (100x50km) was completely photographed from the air.  In it you can see the Simon/DÖLLKEN Factory and it’s grounds.  Notice the Ruhr River running through the lower part of the photograph and the railway that crosses the two section of the grounds.

In the top blue section, on the right above the railtrack you can see the oldest location of the factory.  Leopold Simon made the most important decision in company history when in 1891 he decided to move from the old quarters of Werden over the river and near to the Werden Railway station where it would stay and grow from that point on. Without the railroad, and Leopold’s decision to move the factory, growth and further development of Döllken would have been impossible.  Over the years, the Döllken factory and grounds would grow from the right side of this image all the way to the left.

In 1926, the Simon/Döllken Estate housed and employed 600 people on 80,000m2.

In the red section (2), you see the estate of the Woodworking Company, Jul. Hobrecker & Sons, which the Simon Family purchased in 1930.  Afterwards the Döllken property encompassed 85,000m2.

Above Döllken (1) you can see the quarry and below that the Brickworks Factory of WFW (Werner Feintuchwerke) which were sometimes utilized and employed about 35 laborers.


In this closeup from section 1 we can clearly see the writing of the name Döllken.  There is an interesting story behind the roof inscription.  This photograph was taken in 1926. One year earlier, and 3 miles away, one of the first commercial airports in the region was established. In a modern moment of inspiration, the Simons decided to write the name of their company on the roof so that the planes flying overhead could easily see it. It was written in both directions, so that arriving and departing flights could see it equally. 

The Essen airport continued to be one of the most active airports in the region with many aircrafts crossing over that rooftop every day. After the beginning of World War II, the airport lost its importance… and since then has only been used for private aircraft and small business planes. The airport in Düsseldorf (15 miles further) became the most used airport after 1945, but between 1925 and 1939 hundreds of planes and thousands of passengers flew above the Döllken factory, and saw this innovative advertising. 

In today’s modern age, many companies and corporations have copied this idea and made sure their brand was visible from the sky… but in 1926 this was a brilliant new concept devised by the Simons.


aerial sideview2

In this aerial picture from 1926 you can see the DÖLLKEN company and its buildings from the south in a 3D perspective.  This not only gives you an idea of what the company looked like when the photo was taken in 1926, but it also shows how the company grew, and what it looked like after the purchase of Hobrecker & Son in 1930, as well as what it would look like 20 years later, after World War II in 1950.  Between 1930 and 1950 the company maintained the same size.

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Here is a close up of the same picture showing better details.

© The Macwhisperer 2018