Bielefeld, mid-19th century: The industrial revolution has transformed the city into an important textile location. Sewing machines imported from the USA are mainly used to process the fabrics. They are expensive to purchase and difficult to maintain. The two locksmiths Baer and Koch recognized the opportunity and founded the first sewing machine factory in Bielefeld in 1860.
The company's success showed the partners the potential of the newly developed market, so that Baer decided in 1865 to set up his own company. From then on, Koch operated under the name Koch & Co and employed two sewing machine mechanics Dürkopp and Schmidt.
By 1861 Dürkopp had already designed his first sewing machine and went into business with Schmidt as Dürkopp & Schmidt in 1867.