Philipp Wilhelm Opel is born in 1803 and settles as a locksmith's journeymen at Rüsselsheim/ Germany in1835. He has four children with his first wife Katharina and three of them stay alive, the brothers Adam (1837), Georg (1838) and Wilhelm (1846). In 1858 Adam Opel finishes a part of his mechanic's education in Lüttich / Belgium.One year later he travels to Paris where he works as a baker's assistant. Finally, he gets a job at the sewing machine factory Journaux and Leblond and lets his brother Georg follow. In 1862 Adam Opel changes to a competiting company. Soon he returns to Rüsselsheim and, besides his job at his father`s workshop, constructs his first sewing machine.
His father is doubtful about his plans, so Adam founds his first modest workshop without his help. It is opened in 1862 with the jump start from his uncle and the delivery of suitable raw materials by his brother Georg who is still in Paris. The company grows only slowly. In 1866 war breaks out between Austria and Prussia in the scope of a united Germany. It`s effect is an increased requirement for uniforms - and for sewing machines! The factory grows and prospers and is moved a year later to a bigger site. In 1868 Adam marries a manufacturer`s daughter whose dowry allows the acquirement of other production machines. Sophie Marie places her skills in foreign languages and business into the company. In the future 5 sons are born. At the time of birth of cars Opel already delivers sewing machines into the whole world.
In 1886 Adam Opel together with his 5 sons enter bicycle production. They start with high-level wheels and later change to low-wheels and tricycles. The sons participate very successful in bicycle races. Famous and efficient for advertising is the picture which shows all five Opel brothers on a Quintplet especially made for them. Fritz, by far the best oft them, will later become a talking point due to his reckless sporting actions. In 1970, the company already has 100 employees. 05/12