Flexible magnetic tapes

From the company’s history:
1956 – Invention and manufacture of the first flexible permanent magnet using isotropic barium ferrite.

What was it like back then…
“Child suffocates in refrigerator” – a frequent newspaper headline until the mid-1950s. How could the unfortunate creatures free themselves when no one could hear them knocking and the refrigerator door could not be opened from the inside?

An American electrical company approached Max Baermann to solve the problem. And soon five samples of a magnetic safety lock were sent to the USA by airmail. Shortly afterwards, the Cologne designer came up with an even better solution. Within a few weeks he developed the flexible magnetic rubber: a flexible magnetic tape is inserted into a hollow seal and firmly attracted by the steel sheet of the cabinet housing. The General Tire and Rubber Comp. obtained a general license for this amazingly simple system; cheaper than a lock, it seals better and eliminates the need for readjustment. Today, every well-known refrigerator brand in the world is equipped with this magnetic tape lock.

(Excerpt from “Die westdeutsche Wirtschaft und ihre führenden Männer” North Rhine-Westphalia, Part III from 1975)