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History

To view vintage catalogs and brochures dating back to 1957 please click here.


1867
Albin Wunderlich is born on a farm in a village in the state of Saxony, Germany.
1892
Albin starts his embroidery business in the small town of Oelsnitz.

The cover of our illustrated history book.

1908
Albin’s daughter Elsa married Kurt Erwin Conrad
1909
Kurt Erwin opens his embroidery business in Oelsnitz the same day his son, Erich Henry Conrad, is born.
1914
Kurt shutters his business and goes to war, serving in France, Turkey, and on the Russian Front — where he is taken prisoner in 1916.
1918
During the Bolshevik Revolution, Kurt Erwin is freed along with other POW’s inside Russia and left to find his own way home.
1919
Kurt Erwin has his business up and running the very next year.
1920’s
Post war chaos, hyper-inflation, and anarchy lead to the near collapse of German civil society. Adding to the misery, flappers are in and embroidery is out of fashion.
1929
The stock market crashes.
1929
Seeing no future in Germany, Erich Henry sails to the United States on USS Roosevelt, arriving in Hoboken, New Jersey with $4.68 on Christmas Eve.
1932
Erich Henry returns to Germany and marries his sweetheart, Anni Ilse Schnauder.
1933
Anni, together with her infant daughter, Annerose, immigrate to the U.S.
1940
Erich Henry’s second child, Bernhard is born.
1941
Erich Henry starts Conrad Embroidery Company in West New York, New Jersey.
1951
Following the tragic and unexpected death of Anni, Erich Henry is advised to incorporate a second company. Given the stress and unexpected circumstances, he simply names the new company A-B. “A” for Annerose and “B” for Bernhard.
1961
Bernhard apprentices for better part of one year at one of the largest Brazilian manufacturers of traditional embroidery.
1962
A-B Emblem produces the original NASA logo.
1963
In the spring ground is broken for a new and expanded factory in Weaverville, North Carolina. By mid-November the factory is up and running and Erich Henry, along with his second wife, Johanna, and Bernhard have relocated.
1980’s
Low cost low quality imports begin to flood the market. A-B Emblem pushes hard and invests heavily to keep the business in the United States of America.
1991
Paul Conrad, Bernhard’s son and Andrew Nagle, his son-in-law, join A-B Emblem.
1992
Erich Henry dies unexpectedly.
1995
A-B’s first foreign enterprise, Embemas Bordados de Mexico, SA de CV, Tecali de Herrera, Puebla, south of Mexico City, starts operations.
2005
A-B’s second foreign enterprise, Qingdao Emblem Manufacturing, commences operations in Laixi, Shandong Province, China.