History

                                         of the roofed wicker beach chair

 One day in the spring of 1882, Elfriede von Maltzahn entered the workshop of Wilhelm Bartelmann on Lange Straße in Rostock. She suffered from rheumatism and because she wanted to sit on the beach, she asked him to create a chair that would protect her from sun and wind. Fresh sea air with a stimulating climate was widely considered to be healthy.

 

It didn’t take Mr. Bartelmann long to consider the idea and he constructed a beach chair out of wicker and cane. It was a single seater which he named "beach baskets.” Some locals affectionately mocked his creation calling them "upstanding laundry baskets.” 

 

Presumably Elfriede von Maltzahn had many who envied her as she sat on the Warnemuende beach in 1882. Bartelmann began producing additional “beach baskets” to meet rising demand. In 1883 a two seater model was made, and Bartlemann’s wife Elisabeth founded the world's first beach chair rental in Warnemuende close to the lighthouse. In the " Allgemeinen Rostocker Anzeiger," she advertised her beach baskets protected people from the sun and wind and was available to rent.

As the Bartlemanns did not have a patent and as the demand constantly increased, others began manufacturing beach baskets. New designs with footrests, arm rests and side boards arose. In 1897 Bartlemann’s former apprentice Johann Falk designed a model with an adjustable backrest.

 

By 1900 these beach chairs were widely accepted by all German coastal cities. Old business records document Bartelsmann's supply across the entire Baltic coast reaching from Schleswig-Holstein, past Mecklenburg and Pommern and into East Prussia. Great quantities of these beach baskets were produced and thus, Bartelsmann's workshop had established the "beach baskets” industry.