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Huber & Lerner am Kohlmarkt

Company History

Huber & Lerner has been a specialist in top-quality special occasion printing and stationery for more than 100 years.  It is an eventful family history, which began in Rotenturmstraße and the Kohlmarkt and is continuing at Weihburggasse 4.

The Beginnings

Franz Huber, the son of a Lower Austrian salesman from Piestingtal, and Peter Lerner, the son of a salesman from the region that was formerly part of southern Hungary, got to know each other at the company Theyer & Hardtmuth in Vienna’s Kärntnerstrase when they were salesmen there. They became friends and opened a small shop on Rotenturmstraße together in 1901. They moved to the Kohlmarkt, close to the former Imperial Court, after just one year because they required more space.

Die Gründer von Huber & Lerner: Peter Lerner und Franz Huber
Die Gründer von Huber & Lerner: Peter Lerner und Franz Huber

From Empress Zita to Arthur Schnitzler

And they soon got well-known customers: writing paper was produced for the Imperial Court and the Chief-of-Staff of Emperor Franz Joseph became a regular customer. The later Empress Zita often visited the shop personally and artists such as Richard Strauss, Arthur Schnitzler and Franz Lehar, and personalities such as Alma Mahler and Sigmund Freud, relied on the consultations and advice of Huber & Lerner. Arthur Schnitzler is said to have embarrassed Peter Lerner once by saying: “Your shop is a museum of trivia” and then thankfully relieved the upset Lerner by adding: “But it makes life beautiful”.

Historische Geschäftsräumlichkeiten am Kohlmarkt
Historische Geschäftsräumlichkeiten am Kohlmarkt

The Foundations of Long-Term Success

The long-term success of Huber & Lerner is based on the extensive international travel of the founders, who studied the processes involved in the production of stationery and printed materials for special occasions, including graphic design and text content, as well as the order of precedence required for official announcements.

The Second Generation and Expansion of In-House Printing Works

The second generation of Rudolf Huber-Pock and Kommerzialrat Heinrich Lerner expanded the in-house printing works to create a medium-sized company and gained large-scale customers such as the Friedrich Siemens Works, Hölzl, Leiner & Hrdlitschka, and Schoeller, among others. Rudolf Huber-Pock was responsible for the company’s impeccable, personal customer service and the presentation of goods, while Heinrich Lerner focused himself intensively on the printing works. Soon afterwards, in 1931, the Huber and Lerner families took over the business where the founders Franz and Peter first met -– namely, Theyer & Hardtmuth in Kärntnerstraße. This company, which had originally been founded in the 18th century, had recently got into difficulties due to disputes within the Theyer family. Theyer & Hardtmuth had also worked for the Imperial Family and this is the reason why the original steel engraved die for the personal stationery of Empress Elisabeth (Sisi) is in our company archive.

Huber & Lerner Druckerei
Huber & Lerner Druckerei

One of the founders, Franz Huber, died soon afterwards. However, life must go on and an embossing workshop was established at Theyer & Hardtmuth so that monograms, coats of arms and name plates could be produced on an in-house basis. Then, came the war and Rudolf Huber-Pock was enlisted and Heinrich Lerner was left to steer the companies through the chaos of the conflict.
After the war, the business was rebuilt, with the partners working together as was typical and the companies grew and expanded. Almost all state visits were officially supplied using Huber & Lerner stationery.  And in 1953, the company added the neighbouring space in the Kohlmarkt to its premises. Huber & Lerner and Theyer & Hardtmuth were the only stationers to have received the honour of using the Coat of Arms of the Federal Republic of Austria in association with their business in the 1970s.

The Third and Fourth Generationsand Move to Weihburggasse 4

From 1981, the two sons of Rudolf Huber-Pock and Heinrich Lerner ran the company. Hon.-Prof. Dr. Franz Huber-Pock and KommR Dr. Peter Lerner continued the tradition of constant expansion into new lines of business. Peter Huber had great success with the Montblanc brand. Both companies -- Theyer & Hardtmuth and Huber & Lerner – were the first two firms with boutiques for Montblanc pens in Austria in the 1990s. Franz Huber-Pock dedicated his time to serving customers purchasing stationery and printed materials at the Kohlmarkt and Huber & Lerner grew this business significantly under his tutelage. This helped him gain the Jordanian Royal Family as a customer in the 1970s. Franz Huber-Pock received the Silver Medal for Services to the Federal Republic of Austria and Royal Jordanian Order of Independence Medal Al-Istiqlal for his serves to the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and Jordanian Royal Family.

Huber & Lerner in der Weihburggasse
Huber & Lerner in der Weihburggasse

Next came the fourth generation. Shortly before the turn of the Millennium, the daughter of Peter Lerner, Mag.  Gabriela Palffy took over the business and restructured the company in 2002 and oversaw its move to Weihburggasse 4, which had received a contemporary makeover from architect Gregor Eichinger. The fourth generation of the Huber family, Mag. Pia Huber-Pock and Johannes Huber-Pock, BA, took over the running of the firm, after the withdrawal of the Lerner family from business life in 2006.