November 16th, 2014

The bicentenary of the birth of Ábrahám Ganz marked by Magyar Posta

Tags: received information that Magyar Posta released a commemorative stamp to mark the bicentenary of the birth of Ábrahám Ganz (1814-1867), a pioneer of Hungarian industry. The stamp design shows a detail of the production process of the hard-cast railway carriage wheel made based on a patent by Ábrahám Ganz.

The stamp was designed by the graphic artist Ferenc Gusztáv Borbély using photographs by József Hajdú and produced by the ANY Security Printing Company. The item was released on the 6th of November and is now available for purchasing.

The craftsman cum entrepreneur Ábrahám Ganz arrived in Reform-Age Hungary from Switzerland. His invention, hard casting, revolutionized the production of railway wheels, thus laying the foundations for a safer and better means of transport. The silver medal Ganz won at the First Hungarian Industrial Exhibition in 1842 for the products of the foundry of the rolling mill where he was employed was an indication of the success of his work. In 1845 he became independent.

The production of the one hundred thousandth hard-cast railway wheel was celebrated on 23 November 1867. To mark the occasion, he gave a dinner for all his employees and their family members. Ganz devoted large amounts to social purposes throughout his life and established a fund for pensioners and the sick in his factory which was unique in Hungary at the time. From his savings he purchased a plot in Buda and commenced the production of commodity and consumer goods in his own foundry.

As a wealthy businessman, he bought another nearby plot in today’s Bem József Street in about1858, where he built a foundry which was much more modern. Today this building houses the Foundry Museum of the Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport. The foundry was constructed in the style typical of factory buildings of the period. The lights of the saw-tooth roof supported by wood trusses provided natural lighting for the building throughout the day. This is the oldest roof of its kind to have survived in Hungary.

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