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Ernst Freihoff

Ernst Freihoff Papierwarenvertriebsgesellschaft mbh was founded by Ernst Freihoff in 1948 as a trading company. From his first earnings he bought 15 sheets of scrap pictures which were bought up amazingly fast. An encounter with an elderly lady was decisive; she became glossy-eyed at the sight of the scraps. Ernst Freihoff was touched by this and decided, then and there, to make the publication of scrap pictures his life's work.

In the 60s and 70s Ernst Freihoff also worked with paper articles such as cut-out paper dolls and film postcards. His wife, Ingeborg-Ruth Freihoff, added a greeting card production company to the business. Her untiring work, and equally her love for scrap pictures, resulted in the eventual concentration on scrap pictures. Regretfully, she died in 1977, much too soon, at the age of 50.

Up to1983 Ernst Freihoff worked with scrap pictures from the manufacturers Schwerdtfeger, Zoeke, Illert, Schulze-Witteborg and Mamelok. Only after the last producer in Germany ceased production did Ernst Freihoff decide to start publishing his own scrap pictures, in spite of the fact he was already 69 years old. His passion for scrap pictures was quite evident in his buying of old collections long before starting his own production. The scrap pictures contained in them would eventually become the basis of his "Jugendtraumserie" ("Dreams of Youth Series").

Altogether Ernst Freihoff published 203 different sheets of timeless motives, surviving all styles and trends, with varying themes of flowers, animals, fairytales, children, angels, Christmas, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, and Easter. His "Dreams of Youth Series" remained his greatest pride, pictures based on original motives more than 100 years old, selected and combined by him, creating new sheets during endless hours of night work. Further, obtaining equipment of the highest quality was extremely important to him. The punches had to be such as to obtain precision contours and details.

Up until his death, at the age of 86, Ernst Freihoff managed the company relentlessly, keeping his scrap pictures alive for all humanity. Accordingly, the press justifiably bestowed upon him the title of "Scrap Picture King".

This tradition is now carried on by his children Anne-Ruth and Ralph-Thorsten Freihoff, both very much dedicated and motivated by the renewed rise in popularity of scrap pictures, by young and old alike.