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Hermann Wedding

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Professor Hermann Wedding (1834-1908)

Obituary 1908 [1]

. . . professor at the Berlin School of Mines . . . .[more]

1908 Obituary [2]

HERMANN WEDDING, Hon. Member of the Iron and Steel Institute, died on May 6, 1908, in Dusseldorf. Born on March 9, 1834, he was the son of J. W. Wedding, director of the government printing-office and eldest son of Johann Friedrich Wedding, the eminent Silesian ironmaster, who in 1794 built the first coke blast-furnace on the continent of Europe. Dr. Wedding was educated at the Berlin Gymnasium, and on leaving the school entered the government mining service, the advice of Dr. C. J. B. Karsten, author of the well-known treatise on the metallurgy of iron, an old friend of the family, having guided him in the choice of a career. On October 7, 1853, he was received as "Beflissener" in the Breslau mining district, and appointed to the Royal Ironworks at Malapane. He subsequently worked practicallyat the Friedrichs mine near Tarnowitz, the Friedrichshutte and the Rybnik ironworks, the Konigshutte and Konigsgrube. After two years' experience in Upper Silesia, he proceeded to Berlin for his military service, and began there his university studies. He subsequently studied at Freiberg, and received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Berlin on April 7, 1859. He then travelled for some time in Belgium and South Wales.

In March 1861 he passed his examination as "Bergreferendar," and received his first government appointment as official at Eiserfeld in the Siegen district. At the International Exhibition in London in 1862, where he acted as Commissioner for the German Customs Union, he made the acquaintance of Dr. Percy, an acquaintance that developed into intimate friendship. The desire he then formed to devote his life to the metallurgy of iron was strengthened by a journey that he made with the head of the Prussian mining department, Krug von Nidda, through England. On December 5, 1863, he was appointed lecturer on metallurgy at the Berlin School of Mines, and he continued until his death to be unremittingly active in educating young metallurgists, and in their subsequent careers many of his pupils took a large part in furthering the remarkable development of the German iron trade. Wedding's contributions to metallurgical literature are known all over the world. He translated into German Dr. Percy's " Metallurgy of Iron and Steel," a task that occupied twelve years. The second edition was quite a new work. The first part was published in 1892, and the second part of the fourth and last volume has only recently appeared. In 1871 he published his Grundriss der Eisenhiittenkunde, of which five editions have been issued. He also wrote a small popular book on the metallurgy of iron for working men (2nd edition, 1904). Besides these he was the author of Aufgaben der Gegenwart im Gebiete der Eisenhattenkunde (Brunswick, 1888) and Die Eisenprobierkunde (Brunswick, 1894). The numerous papers read by him at various Congresses, and those published by him in the Transactions of technical societies and in the technical journals, afford evidence of his remarkable industry and of the eagerness with which he followed the progress of metallurgy.

From 1867 until the close of his life he was a member of the Royal Technical Deputation for Trade and Industry. From 1877 to July 1, 1907, he was a member of the Imperial Patent Office, and devoted a large share of his energy to the work. He was a great traveller and an excellent linguist, and was always anxious to encourage cordial international relations in metallurgy. He was a regular attendant at Congresses and meetings of technical societies, and acted either as Commissioner or as juror at almost all great technical and International Exhibitions (London, Stockholm, Vienna, Philadelphia, Paris, and Chicago).

In recognition of his great services to the metallurgy of iron, Wedding was the recipient of numerous honours. He received the title of Geheimer Bergrat, as well as the decorations of the Order of the Red Eagle, the Order of the Crown, the Bavarian Order of St. Michael, the Order of the Austrian Iron Crown, the Russian St. Stanislas Order, and the Swedish Order of the Pole Star. He was an honorary member of the Society of German Ironmasters, of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, of the United States Association of Charcoal Ironworkers, of the " Hutte," and of the Verein zur Beforderung des Gewerbfleisses. The last-named society also awarded him their gold medal. Of the Iron and Steel Institute he was an honorary member, and in 1896 received the Bessemer gold medal. He contributed six papers to the Institute's Journal. The first, on the working of blast-furnaces with raw coal, was read in 1872, and was followed by papers on the iron industry of Germany (1880), on the Royal Prussian Institutes for testing iron and steel at Berlin (1882), on the properties of malleable iron deduced from its microscopic structure (1885), on the progress of German practice in the metallurgy of iron and steel (1890), and on the roasting of iron ores with a view to their magnetic concentration (1896).

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