Ganz, Ábrahám

(Unter Embrach/Switzerland/, November 6th, 1814 – Pest, December 15th, 1867)

About 160 years ago Ábrahám Ganz, a Swiss foundryman, founded an iron foundry in Buda, the western side of the later Budapest, which gave birth to the later world-famous Ganz Works.

In 1834, Ganz set out on his travels and worked in various towns and factories in Europe. He started his travels at the age of 20and arrived to Pest in the August of 1841 where he participated in the installation of the Pesti Hengermalom Társulat steam mill (Pest Rolling Mill Association) founded by count István Széchenyi, and he became the "senior foundryman" in the steam mill foundry within a short time. Later, he undertook the management of the foundry and the machine repair workshop within the rolling mill

The foundry business made him a profit; thus, his savings enabled Ganz to make himself independent in 1844 and to buy a plot of land and a house (today a museum). Within a short time, he obtained a casting license for the Ganz Iron Foundry.

In 1846, Ganz recognised, that in order to make his company successful, he needed products that could be manufactured in mass and the important business potential in the domestic manufacture of hard cast railway carriage wheels. First in Europe, Ganz produced railway carriage wheels using hard casting technology (called chill-casting today) successfully since 1853. His improved procedure by adding antimony mass was patented in 1856. The several patents granted up to 1867 marked his consistent development. Between 1853-67, the factory sold 100 000 chilled iron railway wheels and more than 6 000 crossing points to 59 railway companies. The number of employees at the Ganz factory in 1867 it was 371.

The product range of the foundry was expanded to include heavy components of bridges. By using the hard casting technology, Ganz manufactured rolling mills for milling cereals that were more wear resistant. With this product, the factory under the leadership of András Mechwart had results famous worldwide.

Ábrahám Ganz visited a number of European countries up to 1866. He participated in a number of exhibitions. Products of the factory received the following awards: 3 bronze medals of the Paris World's Fair, bronze medal of the London World's Fair in 1862, silver medal of the Industrial Exhibition of Switzerland in 1867.

Under his name a growing industrial group Web link evolved in the next one and half century.