The big wheel starts turning in the Manner story 8/9
Our series on the history of Mannerin Konepaja will soon reach the present, but there is still a story to be told about how Manner started manufacturing wheels and castors. It was the early 1950s, WWII had just ended.
Manner was heavily involved in the reconstruction of the country after the war. The order book was full, and the company wanted to try out new activities. Aarne Manner attended the Hanover trade fair in 1951 in search of products that Mannerin Konepaja could specialise in. What he brought home was the idea that focusing on wheels and castors could be an option. It was the same year that Mannerin Konepaja began manufacturing pressed sheet wheels, and the following year, the first series of axles for warehouse trolleys with rubber wheels. Although Yrjö Manner was not too enthusiastic about his son’s idea of castors, the range of products expanded, and, in 1954, castors and wheels already accounted for 27.1% of Manner’s turnover.
When Aarne Manner took over the company in 1955, part of the old production was transferred to Man-Ko Oy in Lahti. Mannerin Konepaja kept manufacturing castors as well as high-pressure water tanks, fire hydrants and a few other products, but the plan was to sell them in order to expand the company’s castor production. This was the start of Manner as we now know it.