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British Industrial History

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Anton Lohage

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Franz Anton Lohage (born March 31, 1815 in Grevenstein, died April 22, 1872 in Unna ). He was a German ironworker, chemist and inventor.

He pioneered the production of Puddled Steel.

After graduating from school, he worked in chemical factories in Iserlohn and Oranienburg. In 1845 he moved to Dortmund, where he and Wilhelm Overbeck set up the Overbeck & Lohage stearin factory. In 1847 he left the partnership and moved to Unna. In 1848 he went on a study trip to Britain on behalf of the Prussian state. Together with Gustav Bremme, Lohage undertook experiments for the production of steel. They managed to produce hard steel in the puddling furnace. Their joint invention, a further development of the steel puddling process, was adopted by many plants. A patent in France in 1849 was followed by patents in Great Britain, Belgium and Austria in 1850.

In 1850 Lohage and other partners founded the steel company Lohage, Bremme & Co. From 1851 to 1853 he made several trips abroad. From 1854 he worked unsuccessfully on a new steel refining process to improve his invention. From 1857 he worked as a consultant for leading iron and steel companies. Among them was the Gutehoffnungshütte in 1857 in Oberhausen, 1857–1858 a company in Siegburg , 1858–1859 company in Sheffield and 1860–1861 the Wilhelmshütte in Warstein. From 1860 to 1864 he worked for the Bochum cast steel works. There he managed to make large steel castings. This process was patented in Great Britain and the USA.

He died at the age of 57 from smallpox.

The above information is condensed from the German Wikipedia entry.

Anton Lohage, the inventor of puddled or wrought steel, died on April 21st, at Unna, in Westphalia. Being the son of a poor peasant he was sent to an elementary school, and when twelve years of age be entered the service of a richer peasant as sow-herd, and passed through all the stages of an agricultural labourer. When twenty-one years old he went to work at a factory, and developed there such skill and capacity that he was sent for two years to the factory school at Hagen, where Director Grothe improved him so much that he could be sent with advantage to the Polytechnic School of Berlin, where he studied for three years, and supported himself partly by a small purse which was granted him, partly by working as a chemist in a factory. In 1848 he began his trials at the Haspe Iron Works, near Hagen, in Westphalia, and after some time he succeeded in producing steel of good and uniform quality by the ordinary puddling process. His invention was patented, 1850, in England by Ewald Riepe, and introduced at Low Moor, but owing to the quality of the pig iron, its use was very limited in England, until, in 1858, Mr. William Clay introduced the process on a large scale at the Mersey Steel and Iron Works, Liverpool. In Germany about 100,000 tons of puddled steel are made every year, and it forms the principal material for Krupp's celebrated cast steel.'[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] The Engineer, 17 May 1872