Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Samuel Aston

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Samuel Aston (1792-1848)

Samuel was trained as a mechanic in Penydarren, south Wales.

Gottlob Nathusius hired Samuel and his brother George Aston, and ten other British workers to go work at his works in Hundisburg near Althaldensleben, which undertook machine production, coppersmiths' work, and iron castings. Samuel, George, and their sister Fanny moved from Wales to Magdeburg some time after 1815.

From 1818-23 he worked in Nathusius's factories, and he also represented British companies producing machines for sugar beet processing.

In 1818 he built a steam engine known as "Wasserkunst Magdeburg" in Magdeburg.

The Nathusius factory failed in 1819, and the other British workers returned home, leaving only the Astons. In Magdeburg and the surrounding area, they represented British manufacturers of machines for sugar beet processing, and, in Zorge in the Harz, they prospected for iron ore.

In 1823 Samuel opened a workshop at Knochenhauerufer, which in 1829 became the Maschinenfabrik and Eisengießerei Gebrüder Aston & Co.

In 1829, Georg Aston joined the firm, which was now located at Trönsberg, and was subsequently renamed 'Maschinenfabrik und Eisengießerei Gebrüder Aston & Co.' The company was one of the first machine factories in Magdeburg, and produced steam engines, hydraulic presses, pumps, and sugar producing machinery.

George died in 1834.

After the death of his brother, Aston sold the company to Count Henrich of Stolberg-Wernigerode in 1839/1840 , who commissioned Lorenz Schöttler (1801-1864) [34] with the technical management. Aston later re-established a machine factory in Burg, which still operated as Aston's machine factory until the 20th century.

In 1844 Aston established the first steam-powered weaving mill in Prussia.

Samuel died of cholera in 1848. His sister Fanny and his son George continued to run the company, which remained in the family's possession until the 20th century.

In 1923 the company became S. Aston Maschinenfabrik AG. Machines were produced for the manufacture of starches, complete starch factories, oil mills and olive presses as well as complete oil extraction plants, machines and complete equipment for the production of coins and medals, special machine tools for locomotive construction, pipes and casting machines. The majority shareholder was Berlin-Burger Eisenwerk AG, part of the BARMAT Group.

1925 The firm went bankrupt. The impressive factory chimney built in Burg in 1851 has survived.

The above information is drawn from three German sources [1] [2] [3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Otto-von-Guericke-Universität, Magdeburg. Information based on Google translation of entry for Samuel Aston from this source
  2. [2] Wikipedia - Maschinenfabrik zu Hundisburg
  3. [3] Freunde Historischer Wertpapiere website - S. Aston Maschinenfabrik AG share certificate