Mechwart, András

(Schweinfurt, December 6th, 1834 – Budapest, June 14th, 1907)

Mechwart, András

A versatile and creative engineer and an excellent manager of the Ganz Factory Web link group for long period; yet, by inventing the rolling mills for milling cereals, he wrote his name in the history books of the milling industry.

He studied at the Augsburg Polytechnic with a fellowship granted by his hometown and obtained his diploma in engineering in 1855.

In 1859, he joined the Ábrahám Ganz iron foundry in Buda. After the death of Ganz, Mechwart, he and two others managed the company's production and business affairs and, later, he became the chief executive officer of the company and stayed in that position for 25 years. Under his leadership, the company was expanded into a large company well known all over Europe, with five plants.

On the initiative of count István Széchenyi and based on the activity carried out by Ábrahám Ganz, the Hungarian milling industry started to develop. In the eighteen-fifties, the Ganz Iron Foundry produced hard-cast milling cylinders of a grooved design. The Ganz Company won a gold medal in Moscow in 1872 and an honorary diploma and the "medal of development" at the Vienna World Exposition in 1873. In 1874, the company acquired the patent of Wegmann's rolling mill operating with cylinders made of porcelain. Mechwart repeatedly improved this design and the improved version is known as Mechwart's rolling mill for milling cereals.

At the time of Paris World Exposition in 1878, Mechwart realised the significance of electricity and established an Electro-technical Department in Buda in the same year. This department formed the basis of the Ganz Electrical Equipment Factory established several years later.

In 1882, the Ganz Factory installed the lighting equipment of the National Theatre, with the participation of Miksa Déri and Ottó Titusz Bláthy. It is in the same year that the lighting for the East pavilion of the Vienna Electrical Exhibition was installed. The equipment - Mechwart-Zipernowsky's so-called "steam-driven lighting equipment" - was one of the first AC generators made by Ganz. The same solution was used to ensure the lighting of the Keleti Railway Station for 30 years following the exhibition.

In the years 1884 and 1885, the core and pot type transformer of Déri, Bláthy and Zipernowsky and the transmission system to transfer electric energy economically was developed. Kálmán Kandó also contributed to the product range of the company by his inventions from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. Part of the Paris World Exposition in 1900 was provided with electric lighting by means of a three-phase generator of 1000 HP capacity produced by the Ganz factory Electro-technical Department.

Mechwart's exceptional business talent was proved by the fact that 10 thousand transformers were produced and 300 power stations were built between 1885 and 1889, among others in Melbourne, Australia as well as Sao Paolo and St. Nicolas in South America.

An invention of Mechwart's patented in 1887 was the rotating plough mounted on a steam-driven traction engine. The Mechwart-Bánki's rotating plough of 12 HP capacity with a total mass of about one sixth of that of the steam-plough was developed. Ganz & Co. started to produce the releasable clutches on the basis of Mechwart's patent.

Honours: Middle Cross of the Francis Joseph Order, Iron Crown Order, Knight's Cross of the Francis Joseph Order, German and Belgian medals; Wahrmann-Prize (1896).