The founding years


1923 marked the formation of a small, well-structured business that over the coming decades developed into a world market leader for printing presses. On 6 March 1923, the sole proprietorship “Ferdinand Rüesch, Gauger” (scales factory and machine workshop, Eichstätte, Spitalgasse 8) was founded and registered in the Commercial Register. ruesch_ferdinand_II

Fortune favours the brave and Ferdinand II. Rüesch proved this in the most difficult of times.   

In 1925 the St. Gallen firm Schuster & Co. labelled its fabric patterns individually by hand. When this proved too labour-intensive, the company turned to Ferdinand II. Rüesch to solve this rationalisation problem.

Working with his foreman Johann-Georg Schick, Ferdinand II. Rüesch designed a small, hand-powered gallus_juniorjpgprinting press. This was the story behind the construction of the first Gallus label press, the Gallus Junior. 

Modernisation in the 1950s

In 1953 Ferdinand III. Rüesch took over the business from his father and started to expand the company’s export business and convert production to industrial manufacturing 

Market expectations were also evolving around this time and, even at this stage in history, a Gallus label press could be used for a wide variety of tasks – ranging from printing silk gift ribbons, trading stamps and luggage tags for airlines to IBM punch cards. ruesch_ferdinand_III__2jpg

In 1950 history was made twice at the graphics trade fair in Chicago with the introduction of the first Gallus flexographic printing press and the first ever printing of self-adhesive material on label presses. By this time, word had spread far and wide about Ferdinand III. Rüesch’s innovative and inventive spirit.  

Globalisation and industrialisation

At the beginning of the 1970s the company was completely restructured and fitted with the latest production equipment and manufacturing processes available.

As early as 1971 the company invested in NC technology – the forerunner to today’s CNC machines. Since then, Gallus has systematically applied the lean manufacturing philosophy / Six-Sigma concept at all its locations. 

The start of the 1990s saw the company undergo an intensive decentralisation process and set up local sales and service companies. 

It founded its own subsidiaries in the USA, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and Denmark, and established representative agencies through partner companies in other parts of the globe 

In 1990 Ferdinand IV. Rüesch took over the business from his father. 


1999 marked another milestone in the history of the Gallus Group when Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG acquired a 30% stake in the Group. When two market leaders work together, they produce top results. The two companies cooperate closely in marketing and distribution and in the development of new technologies. Customers of the two companies across the globe benefit from these synergies. 

Focus on the accelerated development of a digital label printing press in cooperation with Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Ferdinand Rüesch brings in his 70% Gallus shares and becomes thereby an anchor shareholder of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.  The total acquisition of Gallus Holding AG agreed by the Management Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) in June 2014 was completed in August 2014.

At the Annual General Meeting on 25 July 2018, Ferdinand Rüesch sr. was elected to the Supervisory Board of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG as a shareholder representative by a large majority of the eligible voters.

Gallus,  a Heidelberg Group Company