A history of our ancestors, company and products

Since the German Commission on Pressure Vessels (DBA) stipulated the use of bursting discs with bursting pressures of 190 or 250 bar in valves for gas cylinders in 1960, Peter Otto Wehberg, who founded Wehberg Safety GmbH, has been successfully manufacturing bursting discs for gas cylinders and for other sectors of industry such as the drinks industry, or for high-pressure technology with bursting pressures of up to 7000 bar.

For decades, bursting discs have also been used in hand-held fire extinguishers and in medical equipment.
Our customers include firms in the automobile industry, who use our bursting discs in airbags.

Bursting discs represent high quality and safety. In the mid 60s, Peter Otto Wehberg started testing new materials for bursting discs. In the early years, bursting discs were made of tin-plated copper. Later on, Peter Otto Wehberg was the first in Germany to use monel, an alloy of copper and nickel, which made it easier to achieve a more even bursting pressure, and after monel came pure nickel, which is still used today.

Bursting discs do their job when they burst at a specific difference in pressure. It is important to note that bursting discs have to withstand considerable strains below their bursting pressure without bursting according to plan. This means that they must be manufactured to a very high standard of quality. Reliable members of staff who have cooperated closely with our company for many years are concerned with the manufacturing of tools and the bursting discs which are made with these tools.

It is not surprising that bursting discs are made in Luedenscheid. However, before we explain to you why this is so, we would like to tell you something about the history of the Wehberg family.

The Arms adopted by the Wehberg Family belong to the category of the 'self-explanatory' arms. The content represents what the word says: 3 green staggered fir trees on a silver grounded shield refer to the agricultural history of the family. The shield is a so called Gothic half round shield dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Above the shield is a crest consisting of a knight's helmet with an openable visor, decorated with 3 plumes.

The Arms have been registered in the Archives of the City of Luedenscheid, Germany since 1920.

Records in the State Archives in Münster provide the following information which is important for the family.

  • The Wehberg freehold estate, which is more than 1000 years old, and whose seat was around 500 metres from our company, was the Luedenscheid family home of the old Wehberg free farmers.
  • The oldest known member of the family is Peter von Wegeberghe, who was born around 1400 and was still alive in 1477. He was the owner of the entire estate, and is mentioned in documents dated January 17, 1473 and November 18, 1477.
  • The estate was split up in 1521. Oberwehberg was a free farm owned by the farmer "Dar houen to Wehgeberge". Niederwehberg was split off and lost its status as a freehold estate. However, it was still in the possession of the sons of the Wehberg family.
  • In 1597, Roloff zu Wegeberge owned the upper estate, which had not been split up, and he was the great-grandson of Peter von Wegeberghe, our forefather.
  • His son and successor on the farm was Peter zu Wegeberge, who was born before 1600, and died after 1651. The Oberwehberg estate was in his possession in around 1620.
  • In 1633 he was also the owner of Niederwehberg.
  • By 1634 he had left parts of the upper estate to his children - half to his son Merge zu Wegeberge , one-third to his son-in-law Johann Vetter, and he himself farmed the rest of the upper estate and Niederwehberg until 1635, with the help of Hermann, his oldest son, to whom he intended to leave these parts of the estate, and later it was managed by Henrich and Caspar, his younger sons.
  • From 1634-38 , enemy soldiers frequently plundered farms during the Thirty Years War, and the obligation to make financial contributions to support the war also made life extremely difficult.
  • In 1635 Hermann, his son, was shot by looting soldiers of the emperor.
  • An appraisal of the upper estate took place on August 23, 1635, presumably as a result of disagreements regarding the inheritance following the death of the oldest son.
  • In 1649, Peter zu Wegeberge is mentioned in an official document as being a resident of long-standing. He was the chairman of the Wehberg farmers' association for many years.
  • In 1651, the taxes payable for the upper and the lower estates were reassessed.
  • In 1676, Oberwehberg was still owned by Henrich Wegeberge, who sold the estate to Henrich von den Schlöten in 1687
  • The male ancestors of Peter Otto Wehberg were:
    • Abel Wehberg, born in Oberwehberg in 1678, died in Kierspe in 1767
    • Friedrich Adolph Wehberg, born in Haus Rahde in 1719, died in Mühlenschmidthausen in 1793
    • Johannes Wehberg, farmer, born in Schleipe in 1780, died in Herlinghausen in 1843
    • Peter Caspar Wehberg, hammer-forge smith in Hüttebruch, Kierspe, born in 1816, died in Hüttebruch in 1879
  • Friedrich Wehberg, born in Hüttebruch/Kierspe in 1859, died in Luedenscheid in 1932
  • Otto Wehberg, born in Luedenscheid in 1900, businessman and co-owner of the firm of Gebrüder Wehberg in Luedenscheid, died in Luedenscheid in 1983
  • Peter Otto Wehberg, born in Luedenscheid in 1935, founder and managing director of Wehberg Safety GmbH.

A study of the archived material listed above provides clear proof of the entrepreneurial activities of the Wehbergs through the ages, whether as independent farmers or later as a shovel and hammer-forge smith, or, since 1912, as entrepreneurs in a medium-sized company with headquarters in Luedenscheid.