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The Next Step in a Long and Honored Tradition

The Leuchtturm1917 journal is the result of tradition and innovation. It continues the Leuchtturm reputation for superior quality, creative design, and customer service that began 100 years ago.

In 1917, Paul Koch, an engraver and expert stamp collector, founded a publishing company in  Aschersleben in northwest Germany. It was a successful enterprise until the 1930s, when the poor economy forced Koch to sell the business. He was able to reestablish it after World War II in Hamburg. He called his new business“Leuchtturm  (“lighthouse”) Albenverlag,” and, in line with his avocation, the company specialized in producing high-quality albums for stamp and coin collections.

In 1959, Wolfgang Schön became the managing director of Leuchtturm. He had lived in Asia as a representative of German trading companies and knew that the future of the business depended on exporting their products. Schön hired Kurt Stürken in 1962 to manage the expansion into international markets. Stürken was so successful that, for the last 50 years, Leuchtturm has been premier producer of stamp and coin albums throughout the world. Leuchtturm now produces 6,000-plus accessories, of the highest quality, used by stamp and coin collectors.   

In 1972, Schön promoted Stürken to partner. In 1997 and 2003, Stürken's sons, Axel and Max, joined the firm as managers. Today, Kurt, as senior marketing director, Axel, and Max lead the company.

In 2006, Axel and Max wanted to shake things up. They had an idea. We might even say a “revolutionary” idea, considering the pervasive nature of technology in our lives. They believed that a “counter trend” was happening. That people were rediscovering the joys of setting their thoughts down on paper with a pen. People who were willing to leave their keyboards long enough to connect with themselves in a personal journal. And those people, so accustomed to having the best and the newest in electronics, would prefer a high quality journal.

Kurt scoffed: too many journals already on the market, too small a market for them. But he did not prevent his sons from implementing their idea.

Axel and Max had Leuchtturm's experience, consistency, quality, and attention to detail as a foundation. They also had the company's philosophy to inspire them: “Our aim is to manufacture products that we believe in and enjoy using ourselves.” From those auspicious roots, Leuchtturm1917 was created.

The sons were right. People were finding new pleasure in the personalized nature of writing in a journal. Today, more than a million Leuchtturm1917 journals are sold each year in more than 50 countries.

The Leuchtturm1917 journal has some really neat features: numbered pages, a “Table of Contents” if you want to identify specific pages, an expandable pocket on the inside rear cover for mementos. The paper is acid-free, an eye-pleasing ivory that won't discolor over time, and nicely receptive to your pen's ink. It is a thread-bound journal that is durable and, best of all, it opens flat. Whether you write (or sketch) when the journal is on your desk or any place available while you're out and about, you won't be distracted by continually needing to flatten it and you can use every bit of that page.

As Axel and Max envisioned, a Leuchtturm1917 journal says about the user:

“I think. I write. My thoughts are worth something.”

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