The label name ANKER is derived from the world-famous Anker building blocks. The inventors of these building blocks, the Lilienthal brothers, sold their idea to a certain Friedrich Adolf Richter (1846-1910) from Nuremberg in about 1875, and the latter registered his own patent.
In July 1876, Richter registered himself in the trade register of Rudolstadt in Thuringia. In 1878, the anchor factory was opened in Rudolstadt. Mainly pharmaceutical preparations were produced there. In addition to patience games, chocolates, soaps and cosmetic preparations, Richter also produced gramophones and Imperator music apparatuses and, from 1905 at the latest, Anker record albums.
Richter founded numerous branches and other factories in Europe and overseas: Nijmegen Holland in 1877, Vienna in 1878, Prague in 1880, London, Copenhagen and Olten in 1887, New York in 1894 and St. Petersburg and Salbino in 1900.
After Richter’s death in 1910, 4 sons and his brother Friedrich Wilhelm Richter took over the company. Due to inheritance disputes, the company was split into the joint-stock companies “F.Ad. Richter & Cie. Chemische Werke” (incl. Anker Schallplatten GmbH & Phonogramm GmbH) and “F.Ad. Richter Cie AG Baukastenfabrik”.
After the takeover of Anker Schallplatten GmbH as well as Anker Phonogramm GmbH by Kalliope in 1914 as well as the outbreak of the World War, shells for the fighting front were produced in the Anker factory in Rudolstadt. After the end of the war in 1918, the company lost most of its foreign branches and factories.