1748 In the village of Audun-le-Tiche in the Duchy of Lorraine, the respected iron founder, François Boch, begins manufacturing ceramic tableware - plates, cups, pots and tureens - in simple shapes and excellent quality. 1767 In Septfontaines (seven springs), not far from the Luxemburg fortress, the enterprise "Jean- François Boch et Frères" commences early industrial serial production. 1770 Jean- François Boch et Frères introduces the "Brindille" pattern at Septfontaines. It is still in the Villeroy & Boch range today under the name of "Alt-Luxemburg". 1791 Businessman Nicolas Villeroy sets up an earthenware factory in Vaudrevange - which is today called Wallerfangen -on the River Saar. He successfully prints tableware using copper-plating, a decisive precondition for cost-effective serial production. 1809 Jean-François Boch buys the former Benedictine abbey in Mettlach on the River Saar. In the baroque building he sets up a highly-modern, extensively mechanised system of tableware production. He designs many of the production machines himself. His inventions smooth the way for manual ceramic manufacture to be replaced by industrial production. Today, the baroque building is the corporate headquarters of Villeroy & Boch. 1812 Pierre Joseph Boch founds the "Antonius Guild" in Septfontaines. This is a social system for workers, the benefits of which far exceed those introduced 70 years later in Bismarck's social security system. 1829 A new type of earthenware which is bright white and extremely hard is developed at the Boch factory in Mettlach. It is so similar to porcelain that it is called porcelain stoneware. No other competitor is in a position to produce anything like it. 1836 In order to survive on the European market, the two rivals Jean-François Boch and Nicolas Villeroy merge their three works to form one business enterprise. The Villeroy & Boch company is born and its rise to market leadership of the European market begins. 1843 Villeroy & Boch expands its product range. The first jointly established factory is a glassworks - the Cristallerie in Wadgassen, whose products still complement the tableware range today. 1846 A new process of tile manufacture is introduced in Septfontaines, namely the dry compression moulding technique. In principle, tiles are still made in the same way today. Villeroy & Boch supply tableware and decorative objects to all areas of Germany. 1850 Production of high-quality bone china and marble-like parian earthenware commences and multi-coloured pattern printing is introduced. The company now supplies all European markets, as well as those in North and South America. 1852 Production of newly-developed floor tiles - which are particularly attractive and hard-wearing - begins at the Mettlach works. "Mettlacher Platten" become incredibly successful throughout the world. Demand is so great that the first European factory specialised in tile manufacture comes into being in Mettlach. 1879 A further factory is taken over in Merzig on the River Saar, which develops into the largest manufacturer of floor tiles anywhere in the world. A second new line of production from Merzig is terracotta as an architecturally-applied ceramic. It likewise becomes a global success. 1882 In these days the manufacture of washing vessels is a Villeroy & Boch speciality. They are used by people from all walks of life. Gradually, however, all basins and jugs are pushed aside to make room for ceramic sanitary ware as we know it today. 1899 Large-scale production of ceramic sanitary ware - bathtubs, sinks and WCs - in the new pipe-clay material begins at the works in Merzig . Shortly afterwards, the revolutionary slip-casting process is also introduced. In this way, bathroom equipment becomes affordable for everyone. The democratising of hygiene begins. 1920 The Saar region is separated from the German Reich as a result of the World War. Factories there are no longer available to supply the German market. For this reason, factories are acquired in Bonn and Breslau. 1930 Creative ideas of the Bauhaus school are taken up by Villeroy & Boch. This style is reflected in the entire product range. 1939 - 1945 The factories in all parts of Germany are considerably damaged during the Second World War. After the end of the war Breslau, Dresden and Torgau are expropriated, the works in Saarland are integrated into the French economic area - the lowest point is reached, before rising up again to become a global enterprise. 1959 Production of the new, particularly hard vitreous porcelain begins at the Septfontaines. 1971 The first ever large-scale shipment of tableware goes to Japan. Villeroy & Boch also continues to gain popularity in other overseas markets, particularly in the USA. 1975 The significance of excellent designers continues to increase. Villeroy & Boch concentrates its attentions on producing outstanding designs. When Luigi Colani receives the contract to design a complete set of bathroom equipment, the whole branch is shaken up. For Villeroy & Boch it is the start of a new way of thinking: not only products, but also living areas are created. 1976 Villeroy & Boch purchases the traditional "Heinrich" porcelain factory in Selb. 1982 The Villeroy & Boch enterprise is re-structured: factory business which up till then was carried out on a decentralised basis, is combined to form the three divisions of tiles, sanitary ware and tableware/crystal. 1986 Acquisition of the "Gallo Design" dealer brand expands the range for the well-laid table in the direction of the younger buyer. 1987 The company is converted into a public limited company. Its capital remains family property. Paloma Picasso commences her co-operation with Villeroy & Boch by developing tiles. Tableware, cutlery and crystal collections follow 1989 By acquiring a 50% stake in the Dutch company, Ucosan, Villeroy & Boch extends its product range to include plastic bathtubs and shower trays. 1992 Villeroy & Boch acquires a majority interest in Alfðldi Porcelángyár, the largest Hungarian manufacturer of ceramic sanitary ware and second largest in the area of tile production. 1996 Villeroy & Boch acquires a majority share in the company Mondial S.A., - a leading manufacturer of ceramic sanitary ware and tiles in Romania.
The name Mettlach on the above marks refers to the factory of Villeroy and Boch in the tiny town of Mettlach
All of the above information is from the Villeroy and Boch website -