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4 min reading time
Story 154 – 1915 – Innovation

A sheet says more than a thousand words

A weighty sample book supported the sales in 1915

The sheet sample book used in sales made Wieland quality directly tangible - especially with regard to the visual and haptic properties of the surfaces. The concept was so successful that it was maintained for decades.

At first glance it seems to be an old wallet. The format and the leather cover with snap fastener suggest this conclusion – until you handle the item: At around 250 grams, it is surprisingly heavy. And when opened, it turns out to be a sheet metal sample book from 1915.

On eight "pages" it presents Wieland’s most common copper and brass sheets from that time: from "black, soft brass" to "hard, bare brass", "pickled, soft tombac" and "pickled, soft copper" through to "hard, rolled tombac, polished on one side", each in 0.3 millimetre thickness.

The sheet metal sample book thus not only shows a cross-section of the material offered at that time. Much more important was the possibility of visually and haptically perceiving the surfaces of the sheets, and even literally being able to grasp the quality of Wieland products with your hands. It has not been handed down who had the idea for these "books" back then nor the edition in which they were produced.

However, it can be considered certain that the sheet metal sample books were an ideal acquisition instrument for the sales staff. Although Wieland regularly used elaborately designed and expensively printed brochures even then, the samples, almost without words, gave a message that everyone understood: there is no substitute for quality. It is therefore not surprising that similar sheet metal pattern books were used successfully in sales until well into the second half of the 20th century.

Sheet Metal Sample Book 1915

When closed, the sheet sample book does not reveal the convincing sales arguments that open up inside.

Explanation sheet metal sample book

The sample book did not contain many words. Only an inserted - and exchangeable - sheet provided technical information about the Wieland sheets presented.