In 1816, C.F. Dreyspring then opened the first cardboard packaging factory, and laid the cornerstone for another major business sector in Lahr.
By the mid-19th century, there were more than 1,000 factory workers in various industries: Lahr's transformation from trading to industrial city had begun.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Lahr was the centre of the Baden packaging industry, and had the nickname 'Schächtele-Stadt' or 'cardboard city'. In the mid-20th century, Lahr's transformation into an industrial city was completed with the founding of major industrial companies in the electrical engineering, metalworking and sanitaryware sectors.
By the beginning of the 21st century, there was a wide mix of industries in Lahr with many innovative and creative companies working in industry, retail and the manual trades. In addition to tool and machinery construction, the leading sectors include automotive supply, the printing and packaging industry and sanitary fittings. Lahr is also particularly well positioned in the healthcare and logistics markets. Many international companies have their headquarters at the industrial and business parks in the west of Lahr, from where there are good transport links.