Tradition is not to preserve the ashes, but to pass on the flame (Gustav Mahler, 1903)

As a family enterprise, we put our heart and soul and our know-how into designing and manufacturing sunshades. There is a reason why GLATZ AG has a history of 125 years and why it is a leading manufacturer of sunshades throughout Europe and the world. We have the same philosophy as our founding fathers did: keeping pace with the latest trends and staying ahead of the times! Then as now, GLATZ has been a trailblazer, as innovative as on day one in 1895. While the creativity of founder Albert Glatz (born 1870) was reflected in stylish hand-held umbrellas and parasols, his son Albert junior (1899) began to expand the product range in 1926. With sunshades for the garden and the legendary ALEXO gear joint he became a successful businessman. Later it was Dölf Glatz who further developed the comfort of garden umbrellas and giant sunshades with patented solutions that are recognized worldwide.

Now in its fourth generation, CEO Markus Glatz is at the helm of the company. Glatz has made a name for itself - far beyond the borders of Switzerland - with sunshades and outdoor concepts for home, garden, hotels and restaurants.


Albert Glatz (*1870, citizen of Basel) founds an umbrella shop

The trained umbrella maker Albert Glatz is still under 25 when he founds his own umbrella shop on 1 April 1895 after working as an assistant in Lyon, Lausanne and Basel. In his workshop, he manufactures and repairs umbrellas, ladies' sunshades and costume parasols. However, success only comes after he marries the proficient umbrella maker Christina Luise Lätsch on 20.08.1898. In 1907, the couple move to the Felsenburg to run the castle's stationery shop.


The shop at Felsenburg in Frauenfeld – birth of Albert Glatz, Jr. in 1899

The family grew along with the business. Albert Jr. was born in 1899, followed by six siblings over the course of the years. Although he would have preferred to become a mechanic or a surveyor, young Albert learned to make umbrellas once he had completed schooling and accepted the firstborn’s responsibility for the family business. In subsequent years, his proclivity for technical details was pivotal to the direction the company took.


Albert Sr. passed on the business in Frauenfeld to his son Albert Glatz, Jr.

Prior to his wedding in May 1926 to Frieda Spahn, who was trained in business and foreign languages, Albert Jr. already set the course for their future. While he took over the business in Frauenfeld, his father and two of his daughters moved to the branch at Steinenvorstadt 51 in Basel, which was established in 1923 with Albert Jr. A year after the wedding the young couple purchased a factory and residential building at the Schlossmühle near the Glatz store in Frauenfeld. The generous space available in the “Friedheim” property proved to be very beneficial for the company’s developments. While Frieda was responsible for the store and the accounting and worked with the French and Italian merchants, Albert Jr. concentrated on streamlining the production, on the development of additional types of umbrellas and on technical perfection.


The Glatz-Spahn family with children Heini, Rosemarie, Dölf and Peter

The family of the Glatz-Spahn couple soon began to grow. Son Heini-Albert was born in 1927, followed a year later by his sister Rosemarie-Lydia and by brothers Gustav-Adolf (Dölf) and Peter-Rudolf in 1931 and 1939. All four of the children eventually joined the company. The oldest son had a certificate in mechanical engineering and became Chairman of the Board of Glatz AG. Daughter Rosmarie worked as a trained umbrella seamstress before she joined the Salvation Army, and Gustav-Adolf (known as Dölf) became Managing Director after he had completed his business education and technical training. The youngest son was the company’s Operating Manager and later became city councillor of Frauenfeld.


With the invention of the Alexo gear joint Glatz was far ahead of its times

While daydreaming about the career he really wanted to pursue, Albert Glatz-Spahn tinkered with a surveyor’s umbrella and invented a multiple adjustable and foldable gear joint of extremely resistant nickel-plated brass. Known as the “Alexo gear joint“, it still forms the basis for the classic Alexo umbrella design, which has been produced for 90 years now. At that time, it caused a sensation and set new standards in umbrella making: The Alexo surveyor’s umbrella became the first Glatz export and was an absolute hit. In cooperation with the manufacturers of surveyor’s instruments - Kern (Aarau) and Wild (Heerbrugg) - the umbrella was supplied to every corner of the world in a standard or anti-magnetic version.


The Swiss Sample Fair in Basel was an excellent platform to present Glatz innovations

From 1933 on the Swiss Sample Fair in Basel was an excellent platform to demonstrate the advantages of garden sunshades, including the Alexo gear joint to consumers and merchants. In subsequent years, Glatz was able to present other innovations to a vast number of visitors, such as the Alexo chair sunshade with ball-and-socket joint, the Alexo Sun Guard and the Alexo Sun Roof, the Pendalex free-arm sunshade, and the Pergola and Palazzo giant sunshades.


Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Albert Glatz started to build a mechanical production plant

Near the end of World War II a shortage of supplies left the company’s German suppliers unable to deliver. As a result, Albert Glatz-Spahn ventured into a risky project: he built a costly strut profiling, tempering and processing facility and added manufacturing equipment to make other parts of the umbrella frame, plus an in-house tool shop. During the start-up phase, Albert Glatz was actively supported by his son Heini, although at that time Heini was still in training as a mechanic at Jenni-Hydraulikpressen AG.


With its own production plant, Glatz was able to develop special products, such as the Alexo Sun Guard

The company’s own mechanical facility allowed Glatz to develop its own special kinds of sun protection products. The “Alexo Sun Guard“ was one of them. With a straight panel of fabric and two spring profiles provided on a support pole with the Alexo gear joint, it was the perfect solution for balconies. (Glatz patents: Switzerland CH-314,813, Germany DE-1,101,706, and Great Britain GB-764,278)


Anne-Marie Hausammann and Dölf Glatz tied the knot

In 1957, Adolf (Dölf) Glatz married Anne-Marie Hausammann. Before the wedding, the young woman thoroughly prepared herself for her future role in the Glatz company. In one of her earlier jobs, she was a secretary at the Federal Insurance Company 8 Eidgenössische Versicherungsgesellschaft). But initially her priority was the family and the couple’s three children, Markus (1958), Brigitte (1959) and Yvonne, the youngest (1966).


The magic of Glatz: the company launched the Pendalex, the first seemingly floating free-arm sunshade without middle pole

The fact that Glatz had been innovative since day one was proven again in 1959 with the market introduction of the Pendalex, the first free-arm sunshade (patents: Switzerland CH-367,290, Germany DE-1,160,577, Austria AT-232,213, Belgium BE-588,393, USA US-3,120,238). While it feels as if the sunshade is floating above the seats, the roof is mounted to a pillar with a side-arm and a ball-and-socket joint and can be tilted in all directions around the pole. It is height-adjustable and can be set to accommodate any tilted position. It took Glatz years to explain and demonstrate until the industry accepted this type of umbrella and its price. At the same time, the Pendalex was the company’s primary cost unit and a door opener for international exports.


Glatz discontinued the production of hand-held ladies‘and men’s umbrellas and concentrated fully on the development and manufacture of garden and giant sunshades

Under the leadership of Adolf (Dölf) Glatz, the decision was made to close the retail store at Felsenburg in Frauenfeld, which had been there for decades. This step marked the end of the company’s manufacture of hand-held umbrellas for women and men. Going forward, Glatz focused solely on the development and manufacture of garden and giant sunshades. In the process, Dölf Glatz had the Friedheim property at the Schlossmühle rebuilt, converting the former apartments into offices, production and warehousing facilities.


As the company continued to grow, it relocated to its current headquarters in Frauenfeld

The company continued to grow and the product range was expanded model by model. With demand and name recognition rising, the production increased, both in volume and in time. The workforce also grew, and it felt like the Schlossmühle facility was bursting at the seams. The newly built factory provided more space and so did the large hall with its high ceilings, where oversized products could be completed. In 1967, Glatz moved into the company’s current headquarters at Neuhofstrasse 12 in Frauenfeld.


The “Albert Glatz” company was changed into a stock corporation with a share capital of CHF 700,000 and was renamed “Glatz AG”.

The “Albert Glatz” company was changed into a stock corporation with a share capital of CHF 700,000, renamed “Glatz AG”, with Albert Glatz-Spahn as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Gustav Adolf (Dölf) Glatz-Hausammann as Delegate of the Board of Directors. Other members of the Board included Heini Glatz-Fritzsche, Peter Rudolf Glatz-Rutishauser and Walter Zurbuchen.


With the giant sunshades from Pergola to Palazzo Glatz broke into a new market segment and obtained international patents

With the giant sunshade models from Pergola to Palazzo Glatz broke into a new market segment. In addition to the option to motorise the giant sunshades and provide them with lighting, all of them are equipped with a sophisticated opening and closing mechanism. The counter-rotation of slide and crown makes it easy to operate, provides broad roof support and the sunshade can be closed without touching the chairs underneath. In 1972, a patent was filed for this invention and so far, it has been integrated in the models Castello, Fortero and Fortino (patents: Switzerland CH-543253, Germany DE-2353967, Italy IT-999115, France FR-2205292).


The shading was perfected with the introduction of the Rusticalex free-arm sunshade

The range of free-arm models was expanded by the Rusticalex. Made from elements of waterproofed wood this model embodies the ultimate in shading with its extendable support arm and a 360° turnable base. (Patents: Germany DE- 3339163, Austria AT-393348, Italy IT-1176669, USA US-4586525)


Markus Glatz joined Glatz AG and five years later he became the new CEO, taking over the reins from his father Dölf Glatz

After completing his studies in Business Management at Kaderschule Zürich (KSZ) and subsequently acquiring practical experience in the financial industry, Markus Glatz decided to join Glatz AG in 1988. Initially he was in charge of sales and finance. That same year he married Christa Maurermeier, a trained Business Economist (KSZ). In 2002, she also joined the company to strengthen the accounting department and continuing the tradition of spouses contributing to the family business. Five years later, Gustav Adolf (Dölf) Glatz stepped down and his son Markus Glatz took over the role of CEO. With this, the father handed over the reins with full confidence in the 4th generation of the family-run company.


Glatz and its construction sites in the best sense of the word – a new warehousing facility, the expansion of the offices and the construction of a production plant were completed in 1981, 1985 and 1989

Glatz AG continued to grow step by step. In 1981, a warehouse was added, and four years later, the offices were expanded to accommodate the ever increasing workforce. The construction of the “Hummel“ production plant was completed and its opening was celebrated in 1989 to the great pleasure of all involved.


Its reputation as a leading sunshade manufacturer was preceding Glatz far beyond the Swiss borders across Europe and the world. International patents, protected designs and trademarks are proof of it

Its reputation as a leading sunshade manufacturer was preceding Glatz far beyond the Swiss borders across Europe and the world. In addition to the unflagging commitment and the creativity of the entire staff as well as the focus on design, functionality and Swiss quality, international patents and protected designs, partnerships in the USA, Canada and China are further proof of this, not to mention the company’s own sales in Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries and importers in France, Italy, Spain and Great Britain. And let’s not forget that in 2005 Glatz AG already celebrated its 30-year anniversary as a participant at “SPOGA & GAFA”, the world’s largest garden fair in Cologne.


With the Palazzo giant sunshade family, comprising the models Palazzo Noblesse (2013), Palazzo Royal (2014) and Palazzo Style (2015), Glatz ushered in a new era in the giant sunshade segment. At the same time, the company opened up a subsidiary in France

With the Palazzo giant sunshade family, comprising the models Palazzo Noblesse (2013), Palazzo Royal (2014) and Palazzo Style (2015), Glatz ushered in a new era in the giant sunshade segment. Each model has its own attractive features and meets every need a hotel or restaurant may have. With its compelling design and excellent functionality, the family of giant sunshades can optionally be equipped with a multitude of extras, such as heating or lighting, and much more.

In addition to the company’s headquarters in Frauenfeld, Glatz opened the “Glatz France” subsidiary in Lyon in 2013 with an extensive Glatz product range, including accessories. The subsidiary is responsible for the support and consulting of existing and new customers in individual shading solutions for outdoors and the cultivation of business relations with the partners.


With the free-arm sunshade Aura in the square XL format, which even rotates about its own axis, Glatz achieved an upgrade in the category of wooden sunshades in 2018.

With the free-arm sunshade Aura in the square XL format, which even rotates about its own axis, Glatz achieved an upgrade in the category of wooden sunshades in 2018. It is not only the materials that were used, e.g. the powder-coated, silver-coloured stainless steel and aluminium components, but the multiple layers of special lacquer that make it exceptional. The latter optimally highlight the eucalyptus wood.


Surprise surprise: The future of Glatz begins now!

We are keeping up with the latest trends and developments and are already experimenting with new shading solutions for the future. Let us surprise you. Just wait and see the innovations that Glatz has in store for you.

Glatz dealers in your area