The history of De Dietrich et Cie can be traced back to 1684 when Jean de Dietrich bought over a forge and came to be known as the "King of iron". De Dietrich expanded in to manufacture of railway carriages after 1800. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870 split their factories between two countries - Luneville(France) and Niederbronn (Germany).
In 1896 , De Dietrich further expanded in to Automobile production. They built their first automobile with the 2-cylinder engine procured from Amedee Bollee, elder brother of Leon Bollee. The 1896 De Dietrich car -
In 1898 , they further refined the design and introduced the "Torpilleur" with a 4-cylinder engine. The 1898 de Dietrich Torpedo -
By 1899/1900 , De Dietrich had tied up with Vivinus of Belgium to produce cars at their Niederbronn factory and Turcat-Mery at their Luneville plant , under the De Dietrich badge. A De Dietrich badge Vivinus and Turcat-Mery cars -
In 1902, De Dietrich engaged Ettore Bugatti, a young and award winning engineer, at their Niederbronn factory to design develop new cars. One of the well know car being the type 5 -
In 1904 , Ettore Bugatti left De Dietrich to join Mathis Car Company and, in the same year , De Dietrich closed their Niederbronn factory and shifted the entire automobile production to Luneville factory. In celebration , the word Lorraine was added to the De Dietrich name and the company name was changed to Lorraine-Dietrich. The Cross of Lorraine was adopted as the logo.
In 1907 , Lorraine-Dietrich acquired the Italian luxury and race care maker Isotta-Fraschini which in turn brought in technology like four wheel brakes and overhead cam engines.
Lorraine- Dietrich was involved in racing and had won many major automobile races of that time including the Tour de France. A 1915 Lorraine-Dietrich race car -
During the world war I , Lorraine- Dietrich was involved in the manufacture of aircraft engines.
After the war , automobile production was restarted. A 1924 Lorraine-Dietrich -
Automobile business became unprofitable and ultimately closed down in 1935. The Luneville factory was converted to manufacture of railway coaches.
The Lorraine-Dietrich logo -
The logo of Turcat-Mery and Vivinus which were sold under the De Dietrich badge -