In 1958, the first internal combustion engine in Poland was constructed and produced in Zakłady Przemysłu Metalowego H.Cegielski in Poznań, triggering off the development of a new industrial field in Poland
The H.Cegielski Factory is 159 years old. The company was established by Hipolit Cegielski in 1846, first as a workshop for a shop with metal articles located in the Poznan Bazar. The first plant produced and repaired agricultural tools, and in 1860 started the production of locomobiles. In the beginning the plant was located in Woźna Street, then in Kozia Street, and since 1859 in Strzelecka Street. The company's products quickly gained recognition, and not only in Wielkopolska but also in Silesia, Western Prussia, Galicia and the Polish Kingdom. The plant grew quickly and when Hipolit Cegielski died in 1869, he left his inheritors with a company employing 300 people. The rate of development is proven by the fact that in 1917 the company employed 490 people, and in 1922 - 1923 the employment level exceeded 4,000. In the time of the Second Polish Republic H.Cegielski Company became a real showcase and biggest industrial plant in the city. It was mainly thanks to this company that the capital of Wielkopolska was the biggest in the country centre producing steam engines and train carriages and one of the largest centres of production of machine tools, arms and agricultural equipment. In 1921, it launched the production of rolling stock (within 9 years the factory supplied 5,515 freight cars!), in 1928 passenger cars and in 1931 motor cars. However, in the interwar period, H.Cegielski Factory did not have an easy time conquering the market, which included strong competition from Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and Czechoslovakia. It did, however, offer products at the lowest European prices and shortest lead time. In 1930 the Factory accepted its first export order: 12 mountain steam engines for the Bulgarian railway. During one of the commissioning rides between Sofia and Pernik the engine was driven personally by tsar Boris Third, who "expressed his admiration for the excellent workmanship and producer". Additionally, this was the longest steam engine in 1931 in Europe. The next order for steam engines for the Chinese railways was stopped by the Chinese- Japanese conflict. Before World War II, the factory opened a branch producing metal tools and artillery. During World War II the factory was taken over by the German concern, DWM (Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken) and produced optical elements, parts for airplanes and U-boats, of course for the needs of the German army. Restarting production after the war was a difficult and complicated task (the Germans evacuated the factory and left it in a state of devastation). However, still during the war, on 12 February 1945, the factory launched production. Pursuant to the act on industry nationalisation, adopted on 3 January, 1946, the company came directly under the central industrial management. The name was also changed; in 1949 the official factory name was J.Stalin Metal Industry Plant. On 28 June 1956, the factory staff participated in a protest which then changed into the Poznań June of 1956. In the same year, on 1 November 1956, the name was changed again , this time to Zakłady Przemysłu Metalowego H.Cegielski w Poznaniu, Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe. In 1958 the first internal combustion engine in Poland was constructed and produced in the factory, triggering off the development of a new industrial field in Poland. In the nineties of the 20th century, during political transformations, some structural changes took place, as a result of which 10 daughter companies of HCP were formed. Once again the factory became a joint stock company, with some shares held by the state treasury. From the very beginning, H. Cegielski Factory became a symbol of the city, often employing whole generations of Poznanians and thus impacting the "social structure of the city'.