The Vesta sewing machines were an open trading company for the production of sewing machines , which was first founded by Leopold Oskar Dietrich in 1871 in Altenburg ( Thuringia ).

On July  1871, the three locksmiths Leopold Oskar Dietrich, Hermann Köhler and Gustav Winselmann founded a workshop for the production of sewing machines under the name of Dietrich & Co. in Altenburg . 

On January 6, 1872, the first sewing machine was completed under the name of Allemannia . By the end of that year there were already 300 pieces.

In 1873, Mr. Dietrich left the partnership and opened a sewing machine trade in the Sporenstrasse in Altenburg. 

In 1874 Dietrich started manufacturing his own sewing machines .

In 1875 the company moved to Wilhelmstrasse.

In 1880, Leopold Oscar Dietrich laid the foundation stone for the factory building, the façade of which has largely been preserved to this day.

In 1880/81 the company moved to the new factory in Ziegelstrasse.

At this time the annual production was about 12.000 sewing machines.

In 1889 Dietrich established its own foundry. There Dietrich made shuttles, cabinets and tools and was to a large extent independent of suppliers.

In 1895 The trademark name of Vesta was used for the first time, according to advertisements. 

1900 Advertisement
1900 Advertisement

In 1904 Leopold Oscar Dietrich death .

On September 12, 1904, after a short period of illness, Mr. L. 0. Dietrich  sewing machine maker, died. He was one of the most important industrialists in Altenburg. In addition to Köhler and Winselmann, he was one of the founders of the sewing machine industry there, which has become so important today. The products of Dietrich's sewing machine industry are not only introduced in Germany but also go abroad in large quantities. Dietrich's knitting machinery and iron foundry are also very popular. With Mr. Dietrich, a " self made man " is in the best sense of the word, whose power has brought his factory to great heights.

In 1906 the company also started manufacturing knitting machines .

Extensions were built in 1908 and in 1912/13

On the 31st August 1910, Adolf Grosskopf, the long standing procurator of the sewing machine factory L. 0. Dietrich died in Altenburg.

In almost 25 years of activity, the faded has already given the father of the present owner of the aforementioned company his comprehensive knowledge.

Devoted his entire skill and his vigorous work in selfless ways, and then stood by his son as a faithful advisor and fatherly friend.

Mr. Adolf Grosskopf was replaced by Mr. Willi Starcke from Kaiserslautern.

November 1910
November 1910
December 1910
December 1910
January 1911
January 1911


On 28 April 1911, at the company of L. 0. Dietrich, in Altenburg,  Mr. Ernst Albin Schönherr celebrated his 25-year jubilee. On his honor, on this day, he received a famous gift and the usual document. As a sign of loyal devotion, many of his employees had been honored with numerous small honors at the richly decorated workplaces

In 1914 approximately 1.000 workers and civil servants were employed.



By 1920 the name of Dietrich was replaced by Vesta.



In 1925 about 1 million and half of sewing machines produced  with about 1.400 workers employed.

In 1926, over 1.400 workers were employed. 

In 1927, 1.500 workers were employed and 150.000 machines were produced.

From 1935 however sales decreased, the company applied for defense contracts and started manufacturing MG 15 machine guns.

In 1940 Karl Dietrich was the owner. The sewing machine production was completely suspended and war munitions had absolute priority.

After the war, when the first company Köhler was able to work once more, it supplied sewing machines as reparation into the USSR. 

On 10 May 1947 the company was nationalized.

In 1948 Köhler and Dietrich merged to form VEB Naehmaschinenwerke (VEB Sewing Machine Works) Altenburg as the Textima Co-operative.

In 1952 the Hermann Köhler and the Karl Dietrich establishments were declared invalid and transferred as national property.

In 1990, the re-privatization took place, the new name was ALTIN (Al tenburger T extil I ndustry N ähmaschinen). However, this company did not survive long.


In the year 2001, the main building of the Dietrich factory was empty and dilapidated, the boiler house was torn down and in the buildings next door several small companies operated that were unrelated to SM production.