Abraham Ganz (1814 – 1867)
The iron-founder master, Abraham Ganz was one of the founders of the Hungarian heavy industry.
He was born in Switzerland on 6 November 1814. After having finished his studies he became a founder apprentice in Zurich then went abroad on a long journey. He worked in the foundries of France, Italy, Austria where he gained experiences and improved his skills. He arrived from Vienna to Pest in August 1841 to the Rolling mill, where he built the first cupola furnace in Pest, then became manager of the foundry. At the end of 1844 he founded his own foundry on a site in Buda. During the war of independence the Ganz foundry produced gun-barrels and cannon-balls for the Hungarian Army. The patent and the production of chilled-cast railway wagon wheels brought about a big change for Ganz. There was such a huge demand for the wheels that he established a new factory in 1858 on the site of today’s Foundry Museum of the Hungarian Museum of Science, Technology and Transport. The range of railway castings produced by Ganz was increased by the V-pieces for railway crossings in 1859. The foundry achieved great success in the international exhibitions, its products won several prizes. In 1861 Ganz was elected a member of representatives for Buda. He became an honorary citizen of the town in 1863, and he was awarded the Franz Josef Order. The production of the 100.000th chilled-cast wheel was celebrated by the factory in November 1867. On this occasion the workers of the factory presented Ganz with a commemorative album. Ganz was only 53 years old when the enormous work and worry of more than two decades undermined his health. On 15 December 1867 he committed suicide. After his death the factory became a joint stock company lead by his colleagues. They made it one of the largest engineering companies in the Hungarian as well as world market.
At the end of 2014 Ganz Holding – being a legal successor company still operating today – paid tribute to the 2nd centenary of Ganz’s birth and the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the factory by several celebrations.