The roots of the first tesa product date back well beyond 75 years, with an initial adhesive medical bandage developed by Paul Beiersdorf in 1882 in Germany. Beiersdorf patented his adhesive technology, and the Beiersdorf Company and the foundation of the tesa brand were born.
Innovations to the adhesive tape line continued for several years, and in 1906, the Beiersdorf Company, located in Hamburg, Germany, held a contest among its employees to suggest brand names for the adhesive tape line. Elsa Tesmer, a secretary at the company, submitted the word “tesa”, which represented a combination of letters within her name. The brand name became legalized, and the first tesa-branded product – tesa-Klebefilm – a transparent film-backed tape designed for general-purpose holding applications, hit the market in 1936.
The birth of the tesa brand began an avalanche of product and business development activities, spawned largely by Hugo Kirchberg of the Beiersdorf Company, also known as “The Father of tesa”. Additional key milestones of the tesa brand include:
• 1940s – tesa-Klebefilm is renamed tesafilm.
• 1950s – Due to its large number of products, Beiersdorf segmented its sales force into separate teams for consumer and industrial markets.
• 1960s – The company installed tesa product displays in a variety of do-it-yourself) retail stores.
• 1970s – The tesa brand expanded to about 600 products. Beiersdorf segmented its business into three divisions: cosmed (cosmetics), medical, and tesa tape.
• 1980s – Beiersdorf expanded production facilities outside of Europe; opened plant in Sparta, Michigan.
• 1990s – The tesa division met requirements of the ISO 9000 quality standard.
• 2000s – tesa AG spun off from Beiersdorf, becoming an independent company. It introduced a major product innovation for paper and printing markets: tesa EasySplice. tesa AG became part of the Societas Europaea (SE), a European company; the company name changed to tesa SE. tesa SE joined the Global Compact – a group of international companies committed to socially and ethically responsible practices.
• 2010s – tesa developed a clean-room production environment.
Today, the tesa company is one of the largest manufacturers of pressure sensitive adhesive tapes and accessories. It employs more than 3,700 people in over 51 affiliate offices worldwide. The global product line includes more than 7,000 products to meet the needs of various industries, including electronics, healthcare, renewable energies, automotive / transportation, printing, consumer, and more.