The Adlerwerke, originally the firm Heinrich Kleyer AG, initially produced bicycles. Kleyer moved into the works in Frankfurt’s Gallus district in 1889 and in the conditions then prevailing set up an exemplary factory. After achieving as much success with the production of typewriters as with bicycles, Kleyer commenced automobile manufacture around the turn of the century. Already by 1914 every fifth motor car registered in Germany stems from the Adlerwerke. From America comes the idea to develop an inexpensive series automobile. The Model T Ford had revolutionized the automobile market. Dozens of car manufacturers go bankrupt or are sold. The Adlerwerke attempts to react. It develops a mass production car, which is marketed in 1927 as Model Standard 6. It is the first German series production car with all-steel body, hydraulic four-wheel brakes and components in light metal instead of cast and wrought iron – a milestone in automobile construction. The car is developed to construction series.

Around the end of the twenties the Adlerwerke pulls off two coups destined to endow the factory with worldwide press coverage: the daughter of industrialist Hugo Stinnes circumnavigates the world in a standard 6, Walter Gropius, the Director of the Dessau Bauhaus, is won to design the bodywork of the Standard 8. The car becomes a financial flop, but the publicity effect is enormous. The Standard 8 gains international acclaim and is pictured in all gazettes and magazines. It boosts the Adlerwerke’s worldwide awareness. Walter Gropius also designs the Adler (eagle) with extended wings, which adorned the radiator grille since 1930 and were part of the Adler logo. Automobile construction at Adlerwerke reaches its climax in the thirties. World War II ends the period of prosperity. The board of the Adlerwerke decides to cease automobile production, motorcycle manufacture is also finally closed down in 1958. In 1969 the Adlerwerke is sold to the US company Litton Industries INC.