The Inventor of the Original Klem Panel Connector
The simplest solution is the best solution
A universal connector for building trade shows and displays was required. It had to be as easy to use as possible while at the same time allowing for the most versatile implementations.
Klem was invented. An astounding system which anyone can use to do anything. Simple, but infinitely versatile. Aesthetic, representative, and timeless.
Klem is found all over the world. Klem is the universal connector. Patented and distinguished.
He invented the successful Klem panel connector over 40 years ago. The inventor has stood behind this amazing product ever since, optimized it in several stages, and developed it into an entire system of connectors, accessories, and lights.
Theodor Puschkarski is still selling the original Klem connector today with the support of a small, dedicated team and a worldwide network of distribution partners.
An ingenious connector
Developed in 1969 by Teddy Puschkarski in the Architecture Department of the Vienna Institute of Technology, Prof. Dr. Karl Schwanzer Institute. In the meantime, more than 2.5 million units have been sold around the world.
It is a universal connector made of die cast aluminium, the size of an egg, which allows panels of all kinds to be connected at various angles using a clamping function. Like a child’s building set, Klem is the key to exciting, unusual, yet highly economical structures in the exhibition and display industry.
The significance of this product was underscored by the presentation of the Austrian State Prize for Design and the acceptance of the Klem panel connector as part of the Permanent Collection of Industrial Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York see ("Patents and Awards").
Outcome of a thesis
The history of the connector can be traced back to a thesis at the Institute for Structural Engineering and Design, which required the conception of a variable exhibition and display system over the summer holidays. At the time, the student of architecture Teddy Puschkarski was working as a tennis trainer at the Südbahnhotel on the Semmering and took the project with him. Since there was a lot of rain that summer, many of the classes were cancelled and the student had plenty of time to think.
Initial sketches were playfully cast onto daily newspapers with a felt marker – and attached to the finished thesis in the fall of 1968 in that form. In response to the apologetic comment that no other paper was available at the time, Dr. Günther Feuerstein who was the assistant professor at the time had this to say: "You could even use toilet paper as long as your idea is a good one..."
In fact the idea was so good that it was not only graded “Excellent” but also received an impulsive “Bravo!!” across the cover page.
Taking the bike to the patent office
Registration of an Austrian patent was the next step – going to the patent office on the Kohlmarkt by bicycle, the student was advised to consider engaging the services of a patent attorney... The first order was placed by the “Österreichische Bauzentrum” and the rest is history.
Knock-offs appeared in spite of patent protection in many countries. While Patent suits in London and Paris ended with the destruction of the imitators’ tooling, damages paid had to be used to pay legal fees.
Licensing in Japan, Brazil, Canada and Mexico supplemented the own distribution network and resulted in Klem becoming the generic name for wall panel connectors in the exhibition and display industry. "Pass me a Klem!"
In spite of around a dozen knock-offs, Klem was able to prevail thanks to diligent continuous development and material improvements. It is now being distributed by 33 partner companies, even in countries such as Macedonia, Uruguay and Serbia-Montenegro.
The connector by the inventor
And that is what the motto "The connector by the inventor" is based on.
The patented connector from the Inventor