The beginnings: From sewing machines to the biggest bicycle maker in the world
August 1862, Adam Opel assembled his first sewing machine in Rüsselsheim, laying the foundation stone for the young Opel company. Production figures quickly rose, and as early as 1868, the company soon developed into one of the largest sewing machine manufacturers in Germany and exported to the whole of Europe.
After the sewing machines, Opel built up its next successful pillar with the bicycle. In 1886 the first penny-farthing bicycle was built in Rüsselsheim–making Opel one of the first bicycle manufacturers in Germany. Opel was quick to adopt modern technology and designs, allowing them to become the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer by the 1920s.