Our values have guided us for centuries

Our core values are deeply ingrained in our DNA. We strive to improve the lives of millions of people around the world with our products and services. We do this by constantly looking for ways to deliver smart, outcome-based solutions and improved experiences which benefit patients as much as healthcare professionals.

Our mission

We want to become a leading player in the global healthcare market and be a driving force, constantly advancing healthcare for all. To guide us toward our vision, we follow three core values: high performance, a customer-oriented approach, and an unwavering passion for our work. These values are an essential part of our DNA, anchored in more than 200 years of company history. They help us stay true to our mission: “help, care, and protect”.

HARTMANN: Helping, caring, and protecting since 1818

Our history

In 1818, industrial pioneer Ludwig von Hartmann acquired the Meebold spinning mill. His son, Paul Hartmann Sr., later founded the Paul Hartmann Bleaching, Dyeing and Dressing Company, a dressing material factory that revolutionized wound care.

However, our founding fathers were more than industrial pioneers. They brought drive, optimism, and commitment to improving healthcare that live on in the business to this day. Thanks to them, we still strive for innovation and continue to actively improve healthcare.

Our beginnings

It all started with Ludwig von Hartmann, born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1766. By 1791, he was the Director of the Heidenheim-based textile factory Meebold, Schüle and Co. Under his management, the company acquired a bleaching factory and, in 1812, he built one of the first mechanical cotton mills in Germany.

Six years later, in 1818, he took over the company and renamed it Ludwig Hartmann Company. It quickly became one of the largest cotton mills in Germany, producing caps, stockings, and handkerchiefs. By now, Ludwig was one of the most important industrial pioneers in the kingdom of Württemberg.

A new generation

In 1843, Ludwig handed over the company to his three sons Carl, Eduard, and Paul Sr., who divided it between them. The sons gradually brought the indebted company back to profitability, changing its name to Ludwig Hartmann’s Sons. It wasn’t until the beginning of the 1870s, however, that the company added medical products to its product range.

During the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71, the lack of adequate dressings in military and civilian hospitals became more and more apparent. To improve the situation, Paul Hartmann Sr. consulted with two influential figures of his day: Prof. Victor von Bruns and Sir Joseph Lister. Before long, this cooperation was to prove decisive for the future of the company.

Success through collaboration

Victor von Bruns, a surgeon from Tübingen, had invented a way to degrease cotton, enabling it to absorb more liquid. In 1873, Hartmann began mass-producing and selling this new kind of wound dressing based on von Bruns’ findings, thus radically improving wound care and revolutionizing healthcare.

Equally important for the future of the company was Hartmann’s exchange with the British surgeon Joseph Lister, which started around the same time. Lister was the first person to treat wounds with bandages soaked in carbolic acid, thereby discovering a much more effective form of wound healing. When Hartmann read about these findings, he immediately contacted the surgeon, who then gave him precise instructions on how to produce the dressing material he had developed.

Shortly afterwards, in 1874, the production of Lister’s bandage began, which was soon to become another bestseller at HARTMANN. Even though the two never actually met in person, their lively exchange of letters was an important cornerstone of HARTMANN’s success as a healthcare provider.

The legacy continues

Arthur Hartmann, the third of Paul Hartmann Sr.'s four sons, played a large role in the course of HARTMANN’s history and had a huge impact in the field of ear, nose, and throat medicine.

Arthur interrupted his medical studies during the Franco-Prussian wars to serve as a medical sergeant. Incensed by the lack of suitable dressing materials on the battlefield, Arthur convinced his father Paul Hartmann Sr. to produce absorbent cotton for dressings, and later on other bandages. After obtaining his medical license in Leipzig in 1873, Arthur became an ear, nose, and throat specialist and opened a successful practice for otology in Berlin. Drawing on his knowledge of engineering and manual talent, Arthur was involved in the invention of the ear funnel, nasal speculum, and ear tongs, standard medical instruments used in ENT doctor's surgeries today.

Our brand identity

Starting with the first company logo, our brand logo has gone through a few changes over the years. Find out more about the evolution of our visual identity by clicking on each logo.
For the first logo in the history of the company, Paul Hartmann Sr. modified the Red Cross symbol to include the staff of Aesculapius.
1883 Created when Paul Hartmann received his first major order: 400 pounds of surgical cotton for St. Jacob’s hospital in Leipzig. The logo deliberately mirrored the symbol of the recently established International Red Cross, associating HARTMANN with humanity.
1906 New laws dictated that the International Red Cross had exclusive rights to the colored cross, so HARTMANN their cross white. It retained the Aesculapian staff, however, to emphasize its medical heritage.
1920 A general overhaul of the brand saw the white cross (which had become confused with the Swiss cross) move to the background behind a red H, the first visual reference to the brand name.
1938 The H octagon design was now well established so it could take second place to a blue oval containing either the HARTMANN name with its new slogan “HARTMANN hilft heilen” (in English: “HARTMANN helps healing”) or individual product names.
1968 The blue oval was now shorthand for quality and reliability, so there was a new need for a uniform brand identity with just one word: HARTMANN. As the oval started to dominate, the octagon receded, although it is still an important part of our visual identity.
2008 To celebrate 190 years of health innovation, HARTMANN revived its 1930s slogan “HARTMANN helps healing”.
2015 In 2015, we added a 3D effect to our logo. This was done to make it more graphically flexible on different backgrounds and in all media.
2021 An elegant evolution. Graphically, our new logo is firmly anchored in the design of its predecessor but highlights a sense of purity, freshness, and brand recognition. The logo consists of three parts: the background shape, the HARTMANN typeface, and our brand icon, the cross.

The HARTMANN brand today

We’ve come a long way since the first line of HARTMANN products in the 19th century. Since then, HARTMANN has been keen to find the most advanced healthcare solutions to market and develop further. we are constantly growing and developing as a brand. In doing so, we maintain the vision of our founders to help, care, and protect. With our current visual brand identity, we’re taking the next step in our journey. Find out more about the new global HARTMANN identity in our Design Center.