Family History

Ernst Rudolf Erni was born 1917, March 2nd, in Brüttisellen/Switzerland and completed training as a mechanic after his school days. For his great passion, he graduated in Winterthur/Switzerland with a degree in electrical engineering.

Born in Dübendorf/Switzerland in 1917, February 26th, Elsa Gallmann-Erni turned her love of flowers into a business as a florist.

They met on an excursion to Appenzellerland in 1935. They fell in love and got married six years later. The couple got two sons, named Ernst Peter und Rudolf.

1947 Elsa and Ernst Rudolf Erni founded the "ERNI & CO." in their residential home in Nänikon/Switzerland, to erect their first workshop for commissioning electrical engineering orders. In addition to being a mother of two sons, Elsa Erni also "pitches in" in the workshop, but later moves on to office work and bookkeeping.

In 1956, a German business partner sold them a part of his company in Adelberg/Germany. The both assumed the four employees. At this time the company's headquarter was a family residence on the grounds of the former Adelberg monastery.

From our present point of view, the most important decision was made in 1966 - ERNI decided to manufacture connectors in Adelberg/Germany. This was the beginning of ERNI as a world leading manufacturer of connectors.

Ernst Rudolf Erni was always a great visionary. He and his wife founded new ERNI distribution companies on almost every continent - in Australia, Asia and the USA.

The both were very interested in cultural actions and major patrons of arts and culture. In grateful recognition of Ernst Rudolf Erni's support of the "Adelberger Freilichtspiele" and his achievements as an entrepreneur in the region, Adelberg made him an honorary citizen in 1997.

Ernst Rudolf and Elsa Erni always been dedicated to their companies and especially to all employees of the ERNI-group, therefore they always spoke of the "ERNI family" instead of a workforce.

On 1999, October 3rd, Ernst Rudolf Erni passed away in Gersau/Switzerland in the circle of his family. Elsa Erni was personally present during all company celebrations until shortly before her death in 2013, January 29th.

Elsa and Ernst Rudolf Erni laid the foundation of today's global ERNI group of companies. Ernst Rudolf Erni's ideas and entrepreneurial credo have given us the spirit to shape the future.

By getting both of his grandsons Hans and Robert Erni acquainted with the company early on, Ernst Erni also managed to preserve the family tradition.