W&H Dentalwerk was founded in Berlin by Jean Weber and Hugo Hampel (W&H), precision mechanics, in 1890. The pioneering company that produced the first mechanically operated straight and contra-angle handpieces in Europe quickly made history. In 1944, W&H moved from Berlin (Germany) to Bürmoos (Austria), where Konsul DI Peter Malata was appointed by the Allies as factory manager.
On 20 May 1958, Peter and Hilde Malata purchased Dentalwerk Bürmoos. W&H grew: Initial buildings expansions were undertaken in Bürmoos, and the first W&H subsidiary, W&H Germany, opened in 1964. Additional subsidiaries followed, for instance in Austria, France, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Dipl.-Ing. (graduate engineer) Peter Malata Jr. took over the company on 1 December 1996. New management structures were implemented: W&H was rebuilt into a powerful and forward-looking team organisation that responds flexibly to the needs of the customer. In 1999, the W&H Sterilization production facilities opened near Bergamo in Italy. The company effortlessly continued the W&H success story. Between 2000 and 2009, W&H expanded both the product portfolio and the
Bürmoos production site.
W&H is now active in more than 110 countries worldwide. With a perfectly organised sales network, many subsidiaries and numerous excellent, reliable partners, W&H remains a family company and has also grown to be one of the leading global players in the dental technology industry.
W&H Dental Museum
More than 90 % of the dental products exhibited are still in working order. Each one was painstakingly restored and some incorporate reworked original parts. The oldest dental exhibits are the straight and contra-angle handpieces from 1890 and the Universal Handpiece which was patented in 1895.
Take a seat on the original pneumatic dentist’s chair from Adam Schneider, manufactured in 1935, which was operated using only pressurised oil by means of a foot pedal. Or experience the background noise of a hanging motor from 1950 and take a look at the world of dentistry through the eyes of our ancestors – this is just one of the many highlights.
The W&H Museum is particularly proud to present exhibits from across the ages – products from each period in the proprietor’s history. For example, with the emergency program for the provision of work in 1946, W&H was most resourceful and produced curlers and water wave clips from cheese and biscuit tins belonging to the American occupying forces, which are naturally also displayed in the W&H Dental Museum.
One-off dental exhibits
Beginning with the production in Berlin and later the production in Bürmoos, a treasure chest of old dental products was put together, which was carefully sorted and recorded: e.g. a foot-operated drilling machine, 1900 model, with a cord drive unit, a clinical floor-standing drilling machine, 1935 model, a hanging motor with sliding bearings, amalgam metering scales, straight and contra-angle handpieces from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, a motor handpiece from 1939 and a wide variety of accessories for dental treatment.
Factory visitors come for the pleasure of experiencing the superb collection in the W&H Dental Museum and being taken back in time by the numerous stories and anecdotes of the museum’s curator, who has been working with W&H for decades already and consequently is closely connected with the company and its history.