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Hermann Ludwig Lange

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Hermann Ludwig Lange (1837-1891) of Beyer, Peacock and Co


1892 Obituary [1]

HERMANN LUDWIG LANGE was born on 10th May 1837 at Plauen in Saxony, where he was educated.

At the age of seventeen he went to Berlin, and there served an apprenticeship of three and a half years with a firm of engineers engaged in the construction of stationary engines, turbines, and water-wheels; during which time he was frequently employed in delivering and erecting the machinery.

He next spent two years in a course of study in civil and mechanical engineering at the Polytechnic School at Carlsruhe.

In 1861 he came to England at the invitation of the late Mr. Beyer, who was a townsman of his, and entered the engineering works of Messrs. Beyer Peacock and Co., locomotive and machine-tool makers, Gorton Foundry, Manchester, where he was first employed for about a year in the workshops. Afterwards he was engaged in the drawing office, first chiefly on machine-tool designs under the personal superintendence of Mr. Beyer, and subsequently on locomotive designs.

In 1864 he was appointed to the position of head draughtsman, which he held until Mr. Beyer's death in 1876, when he became chief engineer and co-manager; and in 1888, the business having been converted into a company in 1883, he became one of the directors.

His sound judgment in mechanical subjects and true appreciation of the fitness of details were particularly exemplified in carrying out designs for tramway engines and rack locomotives for steep inclines, which on account of the special conditions these two kinds of engines have to fulfil presented more difficulties of detail than usually occur in locomotives.

He devoted himself so indefatigably to the business that his health gradually declined; and he died suddenly from paralysis on 14th January 1892, in the fifty-fifth year of his age.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1877.


1892 Obituary [2]

. . . . In 1861 Mr. Lange came to England at the invitation of the late Mr. Beyer, a townsman of his, and entered the engineering works of Beyer, Peacock and Co. at Gorton, near Manchester. There he was employed in the workshops for about a year, and afterwards in the drawing office, where he was at first chiefly engaged on machine-tool designs under Mr. Beyer’s personal direction, and it was not long before he showed that he possessed marked mechanical instincts.

Subsequently he was occupied on locomotive designs, and the experience thus gained enabled him about the year 1864, when the position of head draughtsman became vacant, to take charge of the Drawing Office. This post he held until Mr. Beyer’s death in 1876, when he became Chief Engineer and Co-Manager to the firm.

In 1888 he was appointed a Director of the Company, which five years previously had been converted into a Limited Company. . . . [more


1892 Obituary [3]

HERMANN LUDWIG LANGE was born at Plauen, in Saxony—where he was educated—on the 10th of May 1837. At the age of seventeen he went to Berlin, and there served an apprenticeship for three and a half years with a leading engineering firm, then employed in the construction 1802.—ii of stationary engines, turbines, and water-wheels, during which time he was frequently employed in delivering and erecting machinery.

On leaving Berlin, he went to the Polytechnic School at Carlsruhe, where he spent two years in a course of study in civil and mechanical engineering. In 1861, invited by the late Mr. Beyer, a townsman of his own, he came to England, and entered the engineering works of Messrs. Beyer, Peacock & Co., locomotive and machine-tool makers, Gorton Foundry, Manchester, being first employed in the workshops for about a year, and afterwards in the drawing office.

In the drawing office, he was at first chiefly engaged at machine-tool designs, under Mr. Beyer's personal direction, and it was not long before he showed that he possessed marked mechanical instincts. Subsequently, he was occupied on locomotive designs, and the experience thus gained enabled him, about the year 1864, on a vacancy in the position of head draughtsman occurring, to take charge of the drawing office. This position he held until Mr. Beyer's death in 1876, when he became chief engineer to the firm, and co-manager.

On a vacancy occurring in 1888, on the Board of Directors of the Company—which in 1883 had been converted into a limited company—Mr. Lange was appointed a Director.

The marked features of Mr. Lange's character were great physical and mental energy, and conscientious thoroughness in all he undertook. He spared no personal labour in perfecting detail, even to the smallest minutiae. He possessed a sound judgment in mechanical questions, and a true appreciation of the fitness of details. This was especially shown in the carrying out of designs for tramway engines and rack locomotives for steep inclines, which, on account of the special conditions that these two classes of locomotives have to fulfil, presented more difficulties of detail than usually occur in ordinary locomotives.

Mr. Lange, it may be said, fell a victim to his own restless energy of temperament. He had naturally a strong constitution, but, as the result of over-application to work, his health had been failing for several years, and about three months prior to his death he was prostrated by an attack arising from feeble action of the heart. He was then advised by his doctor and friends to take a long rest from business. This advice, however, he disregarded, and after a short rest, and while still in feeble health, he returned to work. For a few weeks he took things comparatively easy, but on regaining some measure of strength, he pursued the duties of his position with much of his accustomed energy, with the result that was only to be anticipated. He left Gorton Foundry at four o'clock on January 14, 1892, after a day's close application to business, and, while at home an hour or two later, engaged in writing a letter, he was seized with a stroke of paralysis, and expired the same night. He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and became a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1891.


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