Alfred Kärcher, a contemporary of such famous industrialists as Bosch, Daimler and Zeppelin, was a German inventor who lived in the Baden-Württemberg area, and in 1935 he started his own company. In those days the company manufactured industrial immersion heaters that were used to smelt salt. After a number of trials the company started manufacturing a special hardening furnace for alloys known as the Kärcher Salt-Bath Furnace, and as many as 1200 units were sold up to 1945.
The company grew from unassuming beginnings into an attractive industrial complex by the early 1940s. Alfred Kärcher died from a heart attack in 1959, but the family business lived on, initially specialising in the development, manufacture and distribution of heating systems and the patented salt-bath furnaces.
The Kärcher Company moved away from industrial furnaces and specialises in cleaning equipment, so much so that it is now recognised as being the world leader in the manufacture of commercial and industrial cleaning equipment, as well as cleaning equipment for the private sector.
Today Kärcher is represented in more than 150 countries and has been heavily involved in several large restorative-cleaning projects of cultural monuments and buildings, including Mount Rushmore and the Brandenberg Gate.
Kärcher is stronger than ever today. Eighty five percent of the products offered have been developed in the past five years. Kärcher has obtained patents in more than one thousand inventions and has won numerous international design awards.
Alfred Kärcher GmbH donated water treatment plants to charitable organisations in disaster areas after the Tsunami disaster in 2004 and to Chile after the earthquake in 2010.