Why is Geco Durlach listed as RWS in German Code List?


#1

I have been trying to figure out why Geco (Gustav Genschow & Co) which existed, apparently, as a seperate entity from its founding in 1887, had its Durlach facility referred to in the German code list for companies as RWS and assigned code “dnh”. The RWS facility at Stadeln was assigned code “dnf”. RWS became a part of Dynamit Nobel in 1931, but it wasn’t until 1959 that Dynamit Nobel took over Geco as far as I can tell.

Below is the evolution as I have put together from a number of sources.

I suspect that, for some reason the Geco facility at Durlach was turned over to RWS to manage during WWII, but ownership remained with Geco. This is just a guess and I can find no documentation of this transfer or the reason for it, which may have been political.

Can someone shed light on this subject???

Cheers,
Lew

1887:
Firm of Gustav Genschow founded in Berlin. (Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, Brandt)

1907:
Gustav Genschow & Co becomes a Joint stock company and the name changes to Gustav Genschow & Co AG. (Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, Brandt)

1924:
Achistion of “Deutsche Werke AG”. From that time on manufacturing of outstanding small caliber rifles. International sales boomed among other places in South America. Genschow pistol cartridges were used by the police in almost all South American countries. (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

Mid-1920s:
The majority of shares of “Dynamit Actiengesellschaft, vormals Alfred Nobel…” (DAG) , were owned by IG Farben. IG Farben, similar to ICI in the UK, was the amalgamation of the most important chemical corporations in Germany. (JPeelen IAA Forum post 28409)

1927/28:
Conclusion of a community of interest contract with the RWS or rather the Dynamit Aktiengesellschaft (Dynamit Limited Company) of Alfred Nobel & Co., the biggest ammunition factory in Nuremburg. Manufacture of pistols and small-shot cartridges for both companies in the Durlach factory, Manufacture of rimfire and Flobert cartridges, revolver cartridges, metal sleeves, percussion caps and air gun pellets in the factories in Stadeln and Nuremburg. (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

1929:
The entire pistol- and shotgun ammunition production was moved from Stadeln to Geco at Durlach. (100 Jahre Werk Stadeln)

Early 1930s:
RWS RWS is the abbreviation of Rheinisch-Westfälische Sprengstofffabriken which joined Dynamit Nobel in the early thirties of the 20th century. (https://afte.org/laravel.php/gallery/index/121 )

1931:
Amalgamation of RWS with the Dynamit Nobel Aktiengesellschaft, formally Alfred Nobel & Company (Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, Brandt; 100 Jahre Werk Stadeln)

1937:
DAG aquired the majority of Geco shares. Gustav Genschow’s son Karl stayed on as a director. (Trimborn, Explosivstoffabriken)

1940:
Death of the compay founder Gustav Genschow (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

May 1941:
German code “dnh” assigned to Durlach factory under the name “Rheinisch-Westfälische Sprengstoff A._G., Werk Durlach (the Geco facility) (German Code List)

After 1945:
IG Farben was dissolved (“Entflechtung” in German). Out of this came a “new” DAG, now named “Dynamit Nobel”. This is a postwar name (except possibly in Austria). The sources which use “Dynamit Nobel” in the pre-1945 German context do not reflect the correct name, which was DAG. (JPeelen IAA Forum post 28409)

1952:
Resumption of manufacturing of hunting and sport ammunition (air gun pellets, shot shells, 1957 pistol/revolver) (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

1959:
All shares in the company are taken over by Dynamit Nobel Aktiengesellschaft,
“Gustav Genschow & Co. AG. Is converted into a limited liability company. (Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges, Brandt)

1963:
Passing over of all the factory buildings of Genschow & Co. Aktiengesellschaft (Limited Company) to the possession of the explosive and ammunition factory of Dynamit Nobel Aktiengesellschaft (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

1966/67:
Consolidation of the brands GECO, Rottweil and RWS under the umbrella of Dynamit Nobel (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

1972:
Relocation of Durlach to Stadeln (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)

2002:
Acquisition of the Dynamit Nobel AG by the Swiss tech company RUAG (https://geco-munition.de/en/geco-world/brand.html)


9mmk headstamps
#2

The name that does not show up is IG Farben, which similar to ICI in the UK, was the amalgamation of the most important chemical corporations of the country in the mid twenties.

There was “Dynamit Actiengesellschaft, vormals Alfred Nobel…” (DAG) , its majority of shares finally owned by IG Farben.
After 1945 IG Farben had to be dissolved (“Entflechtung” in German). Out of this came a “new” DAG, now named “Dynamit Nobel”. This is a postwar name (except possibly in Austria). I think, those sources which use “Dynamit Nobel” in the pre-1945 German context do not reflect the correct name, which was DAG.

In 1931, RWS was aquired by DAG (according to “100 Jahre Werk Stadeln” from 1995). According to the same source, in 1929 the entire pistol- and shotgun ammunition production was moved from Stadeln to Geco at Durlach.

Geco was not just the factory at Durlach, but also a (smallbore) rifle factory at Berlin, a leather making factory at Hachenburg (Westerwald area) and it was a large trading business. In 1937, DAG aquired the majority of Geco shares (according to Trimborn, Explosivstoffabriken, also from 1995). Gustav Genschow’s son Karl stayed on as a director.

So RWS as well as Geco were in effect owned by DAG. It is only natural that both closely cooperated, although this already started in the economic depression from 1929 onwards. Do not put too much confidence in the “legal” correctness of the code list descriptions. At least as late as 1942, “Gustav Genschow & Co.” was the legal company name that appeared on plans for new buildings.


#3

Many thanks! This fills in the missing pieces. I have added your information to the tile line in my original post and the process makes more sense. I had never heard of IG Farben.

It is still interesting way the factories are listed . There is no listing for an RWS or Geco facility in Berlin. Heidler lists one RWS activity at an unknown location and indicates the symbol of “X” which must be the X headstamped nahpatronen ammunition in 9mm P08 and 7.65mm…He has 22 entries for DAG, but only two of them are for an ammo factory I recognize, 120 and emp.

Again, thanks for the insights you provided.

If anyone else has insights, they would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Lew


#4

Lew, the trick is to look for Genschow, not Geco.
The code for the leather making branch was jhg
the code for the Berlin branch was cxm.
I admit an unfair advantage, because two decades ago I typed the core data of the original list (as published by Pawlas) into my computer. Alas, the publisher of Deutsches Waffenjournal was not interested in a cross-referenced list sorted by place name. Michael Heidler 10 years later was more lucky with his really excellent, more extensive work (including the P-codes) and a different publisher.