Founded in Bremerhaven in 1846

Just 19 years after Bremerhaven itself was established – since then Ludolph has stood for innovation, performance and quality, in particular in products for nautical and aeronautical applications. Our company is associated with a lengthy history and tradition, and likewise with continuous innovation and expansion.

We have been equipping ships of all types and sizes with magnetic compasses, sextants and other nautical instruments developed and manufactured by us since the year 1855.

Ludolph succeeded in breaking the monopoly status of British compass manufacturers in the middle of the 19th century through a blend of practical experience and technical skill. The shipowners of Bremen welcomed this development and the company was able to develop around the world. At the turn of the century sample stock could be found in Emden, Szczecin, Gdansk, Copenhagen and New York.

As early as 1906, we began building nautical instruments for airships (Zeppelins) which were leading-edge at the time. In the years that followed and as aircraft became an increasingly safe means of transport, we expanded our product range in the field of aeronautics.
Following the turmoil of the war, Ludolph Bremerhaven GmbH once again began with the production and improvement of compasses for coastal shipping.

Since 1956 we have also been producing various types of magnetic compasses and variometers for a range of military and civil aircraft. Ludolph Bremerhaven GmbH is also a specialist in the production of a wide range of components for civil and military aircraft construction.

We have been active specialists in the machining of components for the aviation industry and machinery construction since 1980 and we are a competent partner for innovative solutions in the fields of CNC turning and milling.
We guarantee the high-performance, sustainable and on-time production of complex and high-precision components in this field with our state-of-the-art CNC machinery.

In 2000, we moved into our new production hall with office building encompassing a total area of 3,320 sqm on the Bohmsiel industrial estate in Bremerhaven. We increased our production area by 30% in 2007 by adding a hall extension.


In 1846, just a few years after the foundation of Bremerhaven, W. Ihlder establishes a trading and sales company for nautical equipment for ships. The premises are located directly on the harbour, seafarers are supplied with equipment including compasses, watches, telescopes, night glasses, lamps.

In 1859 the company name is changed to W.Ludolph.

Today, the oil painting of Paul Ernst Wilke is in private ownership.

Photo: internal


Employee photo.

Georg Ludolph: 2nd row, 2nd from left

Photo: internal


“Count Zeppelin steered his airships according to the compasses they had built. Their instruments showed polar researchers and long-distance navigators like Amundsen, Christiansen and Nobile the route across oceans and the Arctic ice.”

Text source: Nordseezeitung, Bremerhaven, 17/03/1951

Image source: wikimedia


Following complete destruction on 18 September 1944, the new building at Neuer Hafen is occupied.

The mid-1960s:

Orders from the aviation industry: from Hamburger Flugzeugbau (HFB), then from Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) and Fokker, all companies that later went on to become Airbus.

“Mechanical precision manufacturing” becomes the second pillar of the company.

Photo: internal


New building and relocation to the “Bohmsiel” industrial estate in Bremerhaven.

Photo: internal


Our team – your quality guarantee!

Photo: internal

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