Dr. Franz Thomastik and Otto Infeld started working together in 1919,
they had a grand vision: their aim was to create high-class musical
strings for stringed instruments. This impetus was achieved with the
successful development and commercial launch of the steel core string
with flat wire winding.
This vision changed the small workshop, employing 2 persons, into a
company with an international dimension. Today Thomastik-Infeld is world
market leader in the production of musical strings for stringed
instruments and it maintains business links with all five continents.
Thomastik-Infeld is the market leader in quality and strives for
constant innovation to satisfy the wide-ranging demands of musicians.
can look back at a long history full of change. Even before the
beginning of the First World War Dr. Franz Thomastik (luthier and
Doctor of Philosophy) dealt with all raw materials for potential use in
making strings. Starting in 1919 he did his systematic research into
materials together with Otto Infeld, an
engineer. The cooperation of the company founders first occurred as a
joint effort of two single enterprises. The home of both companies was
in shared premises in the 6th municipal district of Vienna. In 1921 the
foundation of the joint company “Dr. Franz Thomastik and employees”
Dr. Thomastik chose steel as material for the development of new
strings. In the production of piano strings, there was already plenty of
knowledge about steel wires which were struck by hammers. The major
problem at that time was to make the steel wire usable for string
instruments. Therefore, a specific processing technology was necessary.
The advantages of this material lay in the resulting tuning stability,
the imperviousness to climatic changes, as well as in its significantly
longer lifespan. On the basis of the Austrian patent (No. 69060 – flat
wire winding of Dr. Thomastik filed August 15th, 1914) and after many
years of joint effort steel strings had been successfully manufactured.
In 1926 strings of respectable quality were developed for all string
instruments, from the violin to the contrabass.
document dating from the year 1942 shows that at the beginning of the
1930s 50 percent of the production of strings was exported, and that
Great Britain and the United States of America were the most important
markets. The outbreak of the Second World War and the resulting
destruction of the company through the numerous allied bombardments of
the town disrupted the business. After the end of the war and the
reconstruction, production was resumed in June 1946. In 1950 production
levels reached those of the prewar period again.
from the beginning the red violin body with the curved initial „T“
was the defining logo of the company.
Dr. Thomastik died at the end of 1951, Otto Infeld acquired the whole
company. After his death in 1965 Margaretha Infeld took over the
company together with her son Peter Infeld. Under the guidance of
Margaretha Infeld the company not only found its present-day base in the
Diehlgasse, but also became the leading supplier of strings for stringed
instruments. Margaretha Infeld played an active role in the company
until 1994 when her son Peter Infeld took over the sole management of
the company. He led it according to family traditions up to his
unexpected death in April 2009.
time after 1950 was marked by a growth of the company. The unrivalled
striving of the founders for the highest quality formed the basis for
that crucial innovation which was the starting point for the success of
Thomastik-Infeld. Right up to the present day this innovation has
significantly contributed to the company’s success: a string with
synthetic core and flat wire winding. This product – the Dominant
string – is probably the most-played violin string worldwide. Itzhak
Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman had already adopted this string innovation
when they were unknown violin students. Later both became soloists of
Currently, Thomastik-Infeld and its almost 200 employees produce more
than 2,000 various strings for stringed and plucked instruments in the
very heart of Vienna, the City of Music. 97 % of the yearly produced
units are exported to more than 80 countries all over the world. A
strong international focus and the continuing enlargement of business
relations remain an essential component of the strategy of