Inside the WEHA Boxing Glove factory

Behind the scenes of a sport equipment company

by
Adrian Murphy (Europeana Foundation)

The right sporting equipment is important, helping us reach our goals.

We don't often get to see behind the scenes of how this equipment is made. Let's explore the Weha sporting good factory, with archive photography from the German Olympic and Sport Museum.

The WEHA sporting equipment firm was founded in 1907 by German master saddler Wilhelm Heinrich, focusing initially on fencing equipment. It was based in Berlin.

After World War I, the company began to create more sporting equipment - in particular for boxing.

In Germany, boxing had been banned until 1919. With no previous market, there were no other German companies making boxing equipment.

Thus, WEHA became the first German company to manufacture boxing gloves.

Weha boxing gloves soon grew in popularity, worn by amateurs and professionals alike. They were used in many national and world championships. German champion boxer Max Schmeling was among those using Weha boxing gloves.

Max Schmeling: the first German world heavyweight boxing champion

In addition to boxing equipment, Weha produced sporting goods for land and roller skate hockey, ice hockey, fencing, rugby and jiu jitsu.

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In 1936, Weha won a contract to supply equipment to the 1936 Olympic Games being held in Berlin. Organised by Nazi Germany, these games were controversial due to being used as a propaganda tool by Adolf Hitler.

They supplied boxing equipment, as well as items for hockey. India's hockey team were the champions of the 1936 Olympics, declaring Weha's equipment to be the best in the world.

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This blog is part of the Europeana Sport project which showcases cultural treasures relating to sporting heritage in Europe.

Sport Boxing Factory Industrial heritage