Berlin inspires as a creative metropolis, as a start-up hub, as a place for innovative technology and science.


6 products originally MADE IN BERLIN

What do the egg slicer, paper plate and earplugs all have in common? All those products were originally made in Berlin. Berlin is an innovative place where science, research, creation  and development go hand in hand. Here are some examples:

  1. MADE IN BERLIN: The Currywurst

1949, Berlin still suffered from the vast destruction due to the Second World War. The Berlin Blockade of the Soviet Union ended in spring 1949 and the food supply was still tough. It was a time when creativity has beaten tradition. In September 1949 snack stand operator Herta Heuwer served a “special sauce” – a mixture of tomato paste seasoned with several spices (worcestershire sauce among others) – with fried sausage at her concession stand on Kant-/Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße for the first time. Ten years later, she registered the sauce under the trademark “Chillup”, composed of the words chili and ketchup. But to get the perfect Currywurst as we know it today, the sausage needed to be made without a casing. In came Max Brückner and Frank Friedrich who created a process to produce casing-free sausage, the famous “skinless Spandauer,” in Berlin-Spandau. Together, Heuwer, Brückner and Friedrich developed the original Berlin Currywurst. This can now be enjoyed with or without a casing, doused in a special sauce and sprinkled with plenty of curry powder.

Creative Commons Zero

Wurst, Creative Commons Zero

Best places in Berlin: Curry 36 at Mehringdamm (even U.S. pop star Rihanna recently posted a memory picture on twitter). If you like to have one of the most classic currywursts of Berlin, go to Konnopke’s Imbiss at Prenzlauer Berg. They serve a very traditional currywurst with amazing sauces. There is even a museum dedicated to the currywurst!

  1. MADE IN BERLIN: Flower Power

In 1908 Berlin florist Max Hübner, who ran a flower shop at Prinzenstraße in Berlin Kreuzberg. he had the interesting idea that in the future, rather than sending flowers as gifts, they would be sent to professional flower shops. Who would then create the bouquets on-site. Fleurop was born. As chairman of the Association of German Flower Shop Owners, he was able to immediately convince 98 of his colleagues of the idea. At that time, orders were sent via telegram. Today, customers place and pay for their orders online. Fleurop now has more than 50,000 partners in 150 countries, and those numbers are only increasing. Every eight seconds, a Fleurop gift is given.


Flowers, Creative Commons Zero

  1. MADE IN BERLIN: The jump into flight

Otto Lilienthal was the first person to ever successfully use an airplane (hang-flier) to repeatedly glide through the air. He started laying the foundations in 1874. He developed a rotating apparatus with his brother Gustav, that allowed him to record systematic lift measurements on flat and curved surfaces. After thorough theoretical preparation, a willow wood frame covered with waxed cotton fabric served for his first test flight. In all, Lilienthal built 21 aircrafts. In 1889, he published his book “Birdflight as the Basis of Aviation” – the most important aeronautical book of the 19th century.


“Normal Sailing Apparat” by Otto Lilienthal (c) Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

  1. Made in berlin: Oom-Pah Tuba

The Berlin composer and conductor of German military music, Wilhelm Wieprecht, and the royal instrument maker, Johann Friedrich Moritz, along with his son, Carl, developed not only the so-called “Berliner Pumpen” valves (for wind instruments), but also a completely new instrument: the tuba. The tuba is a 4 to 6-meter long metal tube with several valves. Thanks to its improved sound and precise intonation, the tuba replaced the serpent, a historical brass instrument, in orchestras. In 1835, Wilhelm Wieprecht and Carl Moritz registered a patent for the F tuba with five valves. The tuba is still a part of every opera and symphony orchestra today.

Creative Commons Zero

Tuba, Creative Commons Zero

  1. MADE IN BERLIN: Electro mobility

London had the first underground transport system, Berlin the first electric streetcars. Berlin native Friedrich von Hefner-Alteneck worked for the company Siemens & Halske. In 1879, he presented a 300-meter-long course on which the first electric train drove without a horse or steam power. The electric streetcar contained a crucial detail, namely a drum armature in the electric motor – designed by Friedrich von Hefner-Alteneck. Starting in 1881, the first car to carry passengers, measuring 4.3 meters long with twelve seats and eight standing places, drove between the Groß-Lichterfelde station and the local military academy (about 2.5 km). The outdated light intensity unit, the Hefner lamp, was also named after Hefner-Alteneck.

Electric vehicle were not limited to public transport in those days. Robert Anderson – a Scotsman from Aberdeen invented the first one. Rudolf Slaby designed and built a small electric car for his personal use in 1919. The design aroused such interest that he decided, to establish a company and begin volume production of the car, together with his companion Herrmann Beringer. The cars were produced in Berlin-Charlottenburg and served as a mobility alternative for disabled ex-service men from the First World War. Later the company Slaby-Beringer suffered heavy losses due to the Depression in the mid 1920ies and was sold to DKW that became one of the four companies forming Auto Union, that were purchased by Volkswagen Group in 1964.


Von Frank C. Müller, CC-BY-SA 4.0,

  1. Bits and Bytes – the invention of the computer

In 1935, Berliner Konrad Zuse announced his resignation from the Henschel aircraft works and focused on the construction of a fully automatic calculating machine. One year later, he constructed the Z1– the first program-controlled calculating machine in the world with a memory of 64 22-bit words. The Z1 was as big as a double bed. According to computer scientists, Konrad Zuse and his Z1 were about 10 years ahead of their time. After World War II, he produced some devices in his company, but no one back then realized the potential of computers.


Von ComputerGeek –, CC BY-SA 3.0,

If you want to know why someone invented a device called “egg slicer” you can find more products MADE IN BERLIN on our talent-berlin website. And just in case you are keen on inventing things yourself you will also find proper jobs in the field of R&D there.

Header Image:
“Normal Sailing Apparat” by Otto Lilienthal

(c) Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin

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