Our history


It may sound rather strange, but the famous Odyssey of Odysseus really did provide the key impetus for the invention of OHROPAX. Maximilian Negwer's circle of friends apparently came across the balls of wax in this ancient legend sometime around 1903.


For anyone who doesn't happen to have a copy of the poem by Homer at hand, here is a short summary of the 2700-year-old adventure:


The Odyssey

The sorceress Circe warned Odysseus and his companions about the Sirens' island. Anyone who became bewitched by their beautiful melodic singing would meet their death. Nevertheless, Odysseus wasn't considered to be cunning for nothing, and he followed the sorceress' advice, plugging up his sailors' ears with balls of beeswax. But instead of also plugging up his own ears, Odysseus chose to be tied to the mast in order to listen to the Sirens and still be able to resist them.


More information on the Odyssey:

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The pharmacist Maximilian Negwer founds the "Max Negwer factory for pharmaceutical and cosmetic specialties" in Berlin-Schöneberg. The most important product in his line is called OHROPAX. The naming of the product was as ingenious as the product itself: "Ohropax" is a combination of german and latin, meaning "Ear Peace".  

The company's founder Maximilian Negwer (rear)
A model of an ear from around 1928 (front)




Max Negwer used OHROPAX to ensure that soldiers' ears were protected "against the acoustic impact of the thundering cannons" during World War I". OHROPAX consequently became a mass-produced article.


An OHROPAX advertisement from 1916 (rear)
An army tin from 1917 (front)



OHROPAX conquers the market. Its oversized model of an ear attracts a lot of attention when used as a promotional decoration in pharmacies. OHROPAX uses advertising campaigns in newspapers and magazines to establish itself as Germany's best-known hearing protection brand. It also achieves major success in 42 export countries.


An advertisement from 1928



After Max Negwer passes away, his wife Erna Negwer takes over the business and skilfully steers the company through difficult times. At the end of the war, the company's production activities are temporarily suspended due to a lack of raw materials.




The company, which has been based in the German city of Potsdam since 1924, is hit by the consequences of the division of Germany. After the company is nationalised, a people-owned enterprise (VEB) takes over the OHROPAX production activities in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) The family owned company that was founded by Max Negwer relocates to West Germany and resumes its activities in the city of Bad Homburg under the leadership of the founder's son Wolfgang Negwer.



The sustained economic recovery also causes the OHROPAX sales figures to climb. This period also sees the creation of the new logo on a bold yellow background that will define the company's packaging for years to come. The company continues to use a tin can as its main product packaging.



The company relocates to a new factory building in the city of Wehrheim/Taunus. The labour intensive work that has been carried out up to this point is now replaced by modern production and packaging systems. Michael Negwer, one of the company founder's grandsons, takes over the management of OHROPAX.


1993 to 1999

The OHROPAX Soft and OHROPAX Color foam plugs and the OHROPAX Multi plastic plugs are added to the company's product range.



Ensuring customer satisfaction and high levels of quality become an increasingly important focus of the company's philosophy. The company achieves ISO 9000 certification.



The product range is extended with the addition of the OHROPAX Silicon silicone earplugs.



The company proudly celebrates its 100th anniversary. The new slogan "Luxury for the Ears" and anniversary packaging with attractive designs set the course for the next 100 years of success.




The company relocates to a larger factory building in Wehrheim, thus establishing the optimal conditions for the future. It brings new products onto the market in the form of a high-quality sleeping mask and the OHROPAX Silicon Clear transparent earplugs.


The current OHROPAX Classic product packaging (rear)
A display stand from 1930 (front)


Present day

OHROPAX has long since established itself as a successful major German brand. Even now, the classic balls of wax are still the main product of the family company based in the German town of Wehrheim/Taunus. Every year, around 35 members of staff produce over 30 million of the small and quiet earplugs at the company headquarters. These are joined by all kinds of earplugs and other healthcare products in the current OHROPAX product range.

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