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British Industrial History

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Richard Hartmann

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of Sachsischen Maschinenfabrik, Chemnitz, Saxony.

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1879 Obituary [1]

RICHARD HARTMANN, the well-known engineer and manufacturer of Saxony, died of apoplexy December 16 last; from the 'Chemnitzer Tageblatt und Anzeigel' we derive the following details of his career:

He was born at Barr, near Schlettlstadt, in Alsace, in 1809, where his father was a master tanner in a good position.

After leaving school, Richard Hartmann was apprenticed to Mr. Georgo Dietz, of Barr, a lockmaker and blacksmith, and, on completing his time, started in an itinerant fashion to work on his own account.

In 1832 he found employment in Chemnitz, under Mr. C. G. Humboldt, who may well be regarded as the founder of engineering in that city, and who soon found that Hartmann possessed qualities beyond those of a good workman. In Mr. Humboldt's service he became foreman of spinning machinery in his Chemnitz shops.

Hartmann gradually saved a small sum of money, and in 1837 he commenced on his own account with three workmen, and a capital of about £1OO., to build spinning machinery. In the same year he married. In spite of many difficulties, arising chiefly from want of capital, his business increased, and he soon had enough work to employ thirty men.

When, as a result of the invention of continuous weaving in 1840, the old system was abolished, Hartmann found it necessary to erect new works at Gablenz, near Chemnitz, and soon afterwards he took possession of still larger premises in the Klostermuhle, whore for a long time, work was continued day and night.

It was about this time that Hartmann commenced to manufacture spinning machinery, and laid the foundation for the high reputation his firm has always since maintained for this class of work. In 1844 he commenced engine construction, and in February, 1848, the first locomotive, "Gluck Auf," for the Sachsiach Bayrische Railway left his works.

In the same year he came with a number of his engineers to England to select the best tools he could get for locomotive building.....[more]

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