Nikolaus or Nicolaus Dürkopp was born in Herford, Germany the son of the ironmonger Karl Heinrich Dürr head and his wife Karoline Luise born Hildebrandt. He grew up with his grandmother and attended from 1848 to 1856 the elementary school in Herford. He learned to read and write there though, but only rudimentary, so it largely remained illiterate. In 1856 he completed an apprenticeship as a fitter in Detmold. After some years of which he spent in Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen, he became an employee of precision mechanic and master watchmaker Böckelmann in Bielefeld, where he worked together with Heinrich Koch and Carl Baer, the Bielefeld in the sewing machine factory Koch & Co founded in 1861. Already during his time at Böckelmann he constructed in 1861 own sewing machine. He joined in 1865 as a mechanic Koch & Co .. During the war against Austria in 1866 and the Franco-German War 1870-1871 Duerkopp served in the army. Between the wars Duerkopp founded on October 22, 1867. Carl Schmidt, who was a master at Koch & Co. and worked with him your own sewing machine repair shop called Dürkopp & Schmidt from the current Dürkopp Adler AG and Duerkopp Materials Handling GmbH developed.
Hardly any Bielefeld entrepreneur could during the Empire as many patents as is claimed by Nicholas Duerkopp. Due to its illiteracy led Durkopp no correspondence with other business owners or persons in social life, so there is no self-written texts from him. Contracts and documents he had read aloud several times before he signed it. Social life in Bielefeld, he remained largely away. In 1877 he married Ida Vogelsang from Hannover. With her he had a son Paul and daughter Bertha. Although he had previously participated in car racing, he received only on 16 August 1910 a driver's license. After his divorce in 1912 Duerkopp married Emilie born jacket from Bielefeld. Both lived in Bad Salzuflen and adopted in 1915 a daughter. Nicholas Duerkopp died in 1918 in Bad Salzuflen and was buried in the local cemetery mountain top.
His son Paul took over the management. The city of Bielefeld honored Dürkopp with the naming of a Nicholas Duerkopp Street in the borough of Mitte. Many old corporate buildings are now used for other purposes, however, continue to bear the Durkopp lettering.
His passion for automobiles
Durkopp Automobile 1902
1894 Nicholas Durkopp failed on the first attempt to integrate an automotive department in the company. He paid until 1897 from his private assets 2 million mark, but as it allowed him to finance construction experiments. In the course of automobile production Nicholas Durkopp built a race car in 1900, with whom he achieved first racing success in the voyage Aachen-Berlin. The Automobile Dürkopp were always unique pieces that were made to order, which was Dürkopp in the spirit. Durkopp laid down as a maxim, that the quality and the fulfillment of specific customer needs were paramount. The mass production seemed suspicious and he prevented this case of its cars. Durkopp was able to finance its peculiarities in automobile production by the sewing machine and bicycle manufacturing. Until his death, he mastered by his personal enthusiasm all crises that brought this part of the business with him. Only after his death, automobile production was discontinued. He sacrificed his big horse riding center for developments in cars, drove himself test car, so as to contribute to new developments and participated in the planning and technical implementation.