The second Generation

Carl Bellinger was 30 years old when Otto Vahland passed away. He had never met him but he was the one who would breathe life back into the company following Otto Vahland's death. Carl Bellinger had learned the profession of wool merchant at the company Nordwolle in Delmenhorst and was an active officer during the war. He was asked if he would like to take over the business Jorns & Vahland.

In September 1946, he as Managing Director and Hedwig Vahland, Otto Vahland's widow, as owner applied for a licence to operate Jorns & Vahland as
a wholesale wool business and agencies for the export and domestic markets.

The company delivered to the worsted yarn and woollen yarn industries, but first and foremost to woollen yarn companies: cloth, fleece, blanket and hat manufacturers, woollen yarn spinning mills and others

In Oberursel, right by the Bremen – Frankfurt motorway,
the very first car boot shells were manufactured.

As an old member of the Bremer Wollverein [Bremen Wool Association], the company was assigned a considerable quota for any wool already imported or expected from the British military government and was to receive many contracts, as in previous times. The company hoped to get back to the old number of 8 to 10 staff as quickly as possible (as stated in the application registered on 30 September 1946).

In the summer of 1947, Jorns & Vahland made an application to the Bremen Senator for Economics and Labour for the wholesale trade with small hardware goods as well as household and kitchen appliances. But the Senator rejected the application on the one hand because Jorns & Vahland could not prove that it was "in a position to provide additional supply of goods for Bremen" and on the other hand because they did not consider the connection between wool, textiles and hardware goods as a good one. That did not stop Carl Bellinger from trading with other products, which had nothing to do with wool. He of course continued to trade in wool, but in the post-war years flexibility was required if you wanted to do business.

Carl Bellinger
(13/02/1915 - 05/08/1997)

Cuckoo clocks, modern lighters and pearl buttons were just a few of the many goods that ended up in the office in Birkenstraße. In 1948, Carl Bellinger became the sole owner of the company and was then able to orientate himself in a new direction. Through the wool trade, he had contacts to the textile industry and traded with pearl buttons which were replaced in the late fifties by more durable plastic buttons. The demand grew, Carl Bellinger wanted to produce the buttons himself and looked for a machine with which to stamp them. He had a friend in the chemical company Hoechst in Frankfurt. At that same time, Hoechst had developed polyethylene further and produced boards of it but was then looking for companies that would use them. Hoechst wanted to sell the boards of course, but first it needed to find "useful polyethylene products".

Carl Bellinger applied for a "patent for a product designed to protect car boots", he stopped trading buttons and, with the application technology available from Hoechst, he developed a deep-drawing machine with which such tubs could be produced. The manufacturers of "thermoforming machines", which are well known today, were also only starting out at that time. It certainly was a pioneering accomplishment to develop this machine. For three years, from 1960 until 1963, Carl Bellinger travelled between Frankfurt and Bremen, where his family had remained. He would spend two weeks working on the construction of a plastic-processing plant,

and then two weeks in the wool office in Bremen. In the meantime, he had relocated the office from Birkenstraße to Hermann-Böse-Straße, into the house that Otto Vahland had bought around 1910. The house remains the company's Bremen headquarters right up until today.

In 1960 (the year in which Stefan Bellinger was born), the development that would later take place in the wool trade could not yet be predicted, however Carl Bellinger acted with a great deal of foresight when he bid farewell to the wool trade completely and concentrated completely on the production of tubs. With success: in 1963, the manufacturing workshop was moved from Frankfurt to Bremen-Vegesack. In these years, it was not only the product that required development, but customers and sales avenues also had to be found.

This automobile tub was first envisaged to be used by butchers. It would allow them to easily transport the meat from the slaughterhouse to their businesses for processing. A light container that could be easily placed in the boot, but which still fitted in exactly, suitable for food and also easy to clean, all you had to do was rinse it out.

The product combined so many positive properties in one; all that had to be done was to convince the butchers. "My father would drive his Mercedes 280 S, which he always kept spic and span, to a slaughterhouse in the early morning, open the boot of the car which contained the – then white – Carbox and a stack of brochures and he would wait", remembers Stefan Bellinger.

1977: Carl Bellinger (left) and the director of
sales for many years Willi Gruel at a trade fair.

 "People were wary at the beginning, but curious and were then quickly convinced. The first units were soon sold."

Carl Bellinger often intuitively knew when the time was right. In the early 1970s, the accessories market in the automobile industry really got going. Rims, spoilers,

whitewall tyres and leather steering wheels: any product that got a car-lover's heart beating faster was manufactured and supplied. Automobile manufacturers created a retail structure for accessories, from which Carbox also benefited. BMW was the first manufacturer in the early 1970s that made the Carbox part of its accessories programme. A fantastic success for the north German based company, which then had to adapt its production to the Olympic Games: in February 1972, BMW announced that its annual factory holidays would not be in the summer as usual, but would be postponed in order to not coincide with the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich taking place from 21 August until 12 September.

The tub for butchers had become a real car

accessory. In 1974, "JV Carbox" was registered as a word and design mark, a combination of the initials of "Jorns & Vahland (JV)" and "Carbox".

"My father had many abilities but English was not one of them", says Stefan Bellinger. "And he of all people came up with the name Carbox!" It was only in 1998 that "Carbox" could be registered as a European trademark. "It is just fantastic that we were able to get this name protected. Carbox is today our trademark. And the product could not be described any better", says Stefan Bellinger.

The demand for Carbox grew. That is why the production needed to be increased. The space in Bremen-Vegesack had become too small, so Jorns & Vahland moved to Achim in 1969. A small step to Bremen's urban fringe, but a giant leap for the company with its new production area on a site measuring 7,500 square metres in the Achim-Ost industrial estate. 

1969: The Bellinger family visits the building site of the new plant in Achim.
Stefan, 9 years old, is already there (4th from the right).

The company moved to Lower Saxony although Jorns & Vahland would have liked to stay in the Bremen city area. But Bremen was more interested in large companies. Medium-sized companies were treated like "second-class businesses"; despite the growth achieved, Jorns & Vahland was not provided with sufficient production space. So the company went to Achim, roughly 10 km south of Bremen. At that time, Jorns & Vahland was only the third company to base itself in this area right by the Autobahn 27 motorway. The property was extended by a further 5,000 square metres meaning that Carbox is now on a site measuring 12,500 square metres. 

In June 1976, the name "Jorns & Vahland Kunststoff-Verarbeitungs-Werk, Inh. Carl Bellinger" was changed to "JV Carbox Carl Bellinger GmbH & Co. KG". "The name was sometimes confusing", explains Stefan Bellinger. "In some trade-fair exhibitor indexes, we were listed under either B (Bellinger), C (Carbox) or J (JV Carbox)."

Stefan Bellinger was of the opinion that the brand was very important, it characterised the company. For that reason, the family-run company has been called "Carbox GmbH & Co. KG" since 2005.