Let’s turn back the clocks to the year 1959. Nitzbon was a business for metal construction and locksmithery. It gathered 25 years of experience in building banisters, steel plates and aluminum constructions. My father still ran the business. Occupational therapists and patients still spent weeks and months in hospitals for rehabilitation. The most modern way of occupational therapy in those days was the weaving loom with skids – a wooden prototype, being used successfully at the “Annastift” in Hannover, Germany.
Who knows what might have become of the Nitzbon company – if the young occupational therapist Ute Schmidt–Carlshausen hadn’t been assigned to establish a new department at the “Berufsgenossenschaftliches Krankenhaus Boberg”, a hospital in Boberg, Germany.
She was looking for some craftsmen, who could not only copy the weaving loom with skids, but actually develop a highly resistant metal frame for it. She found them in us – in the neighborhood of the hospital in Boberg.
This was a turning point for us, although nobody actually sensed it at the time. Shortly after the dedication of the emergency hospital Boberg, we received the first orders from other hospital departments in Bad Bramstedt, Frankfurt- Höchst and Höxter. For us it was only a little extra income – the company still mainly made a living on metal construction.
Believing in our success, I went to the world congress of occupational therapy in 1970 in Zurich. Occupational therapy department in hospitals were still something of a rarity and so were orders for the weaving loom.
My colleagues smiled at my commitment and did not even try to push into this market niche. Just our luck! That left us being the only ones able to construct adaptions for the weaving loom and suitable places for training to go with it. When in the middle of the 70’s, occupational therapy became more common in Germany, we were able to deliver immediately.
Today, other therapy devices became more important. We constantly keep in touch with leading occupational therapists, to develop and adapt the devices needed for modern therapy.
With regard to the future, this makes us very well positioned.