The wings and fuselage of the metal-framed, low-wingedJl monoplane were clad in sheet steel, earning it the nickname Tin Donkey. Junkers soon replaced the steel cladding with the more garage door opener s66 but much lighter alloy Duralumin, a material created by German researcher Alfred Wilm who, in 1901, serendipitously discovered that his mix of aluminium and copper increased in hardness when simply left to mature at room temperature. In 1919 Junkers produced another first, the all-metal F13, which by 1932 had evolved into the Junkers Ju 52 tri-motor airliner, one of the most successful and with its corrugated Duralumin skin most distinctive civil aircraft of the era. Meanwhile, Paul Morszecks son Richard was running the company and, in 1931, he registered the brand name Rimowa pronounced with a va not a wa by taking the first two letters of his given and surnames plus the first two of the German for trademark, Warenzeichen.
Pursuing ever-lighter construction, in 1937 Paul introduced the first luggage using sheet aluminium panelling. The factory was badly bombed during World War Two, the wood and leather stock went up in flames and production post-war resumed using aluminium panels but, in 1950, with air travel rapidly increasing and inspired by the Junkers airliners, Rimowa introduced what would become its signature product. Corrugating the aluminium created a unique look while providing rigidity without adding weight. Rimowas advertising claimed it to be the First garage door opener s66 Cases with Grooves, a qualification presumably felt necessary in the light of the other and smooth aluminium luggage, produced by the American Haliburton company see Octane 13 .
For many years the luggage with grooves, due no doubt to its machine-age aesthetic, was an esoteric choice largely confined to the business classes, and a sticker-laden and well-dented Rimowa was akin to a macho badge of honour, indicating that the owner was a seasoned world traveller of substantial means. In 1976 Dieter Morszeck, the third generation to run the company and a keen photographer, developed awaterproofrange ofgrooved cases that soon became the luggage of choice for photographers and film crews, further enhancing the brands professional image. As the millennium turned, Dieter brought 21st Century technology to Rimowas range, pioneering the use of super-strong polycarbonate, still with the distinctive ribs, and reducing weight by 25%. But aluminium lives on with a flare for garage door opener s66 and a passion for aviation and capitalising on Rimowas heritage, Dieter sponsors a vintage Junkers 52 decked out in Rimowa livery, and even flew it to the US for a promotional tour in 20 The company has also underwritten the massive task of recreating that very first all-metal passenger plane. By the time you read this it should have taken to the air.