1919 - 1939
How it all started: One of the first rotary switches from the Berker brothers' workshop in Schalksmühle. It was already simple, aesthetic and functional: the same typical characteristics as the Berker models that would come later.
Form follows function: At a time in which the Bauhaus was first making this idea great, the Berker brothers were already committed converts to the celebrated creed of architect Louis Henri Sullivan. Functional and perfect design combined with sound technology - Berker switches already had exactly what it takes to turn a product into a classic. And that’s what they became.
At the beginning of the 20th century, manufacturers became exclusively responsible for the safety of their products. In 1920, the Association of German Electrotechnical Engineers (VDE) established its own Control Office. The VDE mark of approval is still recognised as a guarantee of reliable installation. Berker was one of the first companies to manufacture its products according to VDE stipulations and submit them for testing. Back then, a switch really was just for switching something on and off. It was only much later that two-way, cross and series connections were introduced along with the corresponding switches.
The 15-K rapidly became a best seller. By the end of the war, more than a million of these power switches had been manufactured in Schalksmühle - an amazing number for a specialist switch.
A real child of its time: A 1939 rotary switch made of black Bakelite.