|17 Sept. 1883 Kathe Kruse born in Breslau as Katharina Simon.
1899 Drama lessons at Otto Gerlach in Breslau
1900 First engagement at the Lessing Theatre in Berlin by the stage name of Hedda Somin
1902 She meets the nearly 30 years older sculptor Max Kruse
2 Dec. 1902 Birth of Maria
1904 Birth of Sophie
Chirstmas 1905 Encouraged by her husband who refuses to buy one of the usual dolls for his children, Kathe Kruse started to produce the first dolls for her daughters by herself.She creates the first "potatoe doll" for her daughters
1909 Marriage to Max Kruse, birth of Johanna
1910 Production of her first doll series with which Kathe Kruse participates in the exhibition "Spielzeug aus eigener Hand" (self-made toys) at the "Kaufhaus Hermann Tietz" in Berlin; she was invited to exhibit her dolls at an exhibition at a large department store in Berlin;first patent for a dolls' head
1911 The company "Kammer und Reinhardt" produces Kathe Kruse dolls under licence for some months; at the end of the year Kathe Kruse decides to produce the dolls by herself and gets a contract from the famous American toy store, F.A.O. Schwartzthe for 150 dolls, birth of Michael
1912 workshop in Bad Kosen and from there the dolls were eventually sent all over the world. Never a cheap doll and always top quality, Kathe Kruse dolls were beautifully presented with meticulous attention to detail. At its peak there were 120 workers employed at the factory; birth of Joachim
1914 Patent for a supple internal framework
1918 Birth of Friedebald
1921 Birth of Max
1937 Gold medal awarded at the world exhibition in Paris
1942 Max Kruse dies at the age of 88
1943 Joachim dies in a military hospital in Berlin
1944 Kathe Kruse also loses her son Friedebald at an accident during the war
After World War II, the expensive hand made dolls of Kathe Kruse were out of the reach of many people, so in the 1950s she departed from her principles of cuddly cloth dolls and granted a licence to Schildrote to produce some of the models of her dolls in celluloid.
1947 Establishes branch in Donauworth
1952 Son-in law Heinz Adler takes over the technical management of the workshops in Donauworth
1953 Max Kruse Jr becomes sole proprietor and Hanne Adler-Kruse takes over the artistic management of the company
1955 "Schildkrot" produces Kathe Kruse dolls made of tortulon under licence until 1962;introduction of Kathe Kruse dolls with plastic heads
1956 Kathe Kruse is decorated with the "I. Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany"
1957 Foundation of the "Kathe Kruse-Puppen GmbH" with Heinz Adler as managing director, Max Kruse holds a 30% and "Schildkrot" a 70% share
1962 Hanne Adler-Kruse takes over the company share from Max Kruse Jr
1967 Terry towelling toys for babies and infants are produced and develop into an economic success; the doll production can be expanded
19 July 1968 Kathe Kruse dies in Murnau at the age of 84
1975 Expansion of the company
1976 Heinz Adler repurchases company shares;together with Hanne Adler-Kruse he is now the sole owner of the company
1979 Further extension of the workshop buildings
1990 Handing over of the company direction to Andrea-Kathrin and Stephen Christenson; they expand the product range by innovative and lovely play dolls and toys, moreover, models from the early production years are reproduced with much care and love and offered to the collectors in limited editions
1993 Foundation of the collectors'club "Kathe Kruse Family"
Today the factory is still in Donauworth, making dolls with the same high standards set in Kathe Kruse's day. Much of the work is still done by hand, and it takes many hours to complete one doll. The factory employs 65 people, with a further 75 working from home. Some of the original workers have been there for 30 years.