The 1870s. Reigning in Europe are Queen Victoria, Czar Alexander II, Emperor William I and his Chancellor Bismarck, and Emperor Franz Joseph in Austria.
Vienna, already a city of a million people, is a European economic magnet. The Böhler brothers from Frankfurt are also drawn to this aspiring city. As shrewd salesmen, they are attracted by the high quality of Styrian steel, for which they see great, and underutilized, market potential.
In 1870 they negotiate exclusive agency with the imperial chartered cast steel plant in Kapfenberg and found Gebrüder Böhler & Co Handelsgesellschaft company, with headquarters in Vienna, on April 15.