Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,481 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Johann August Daniel Oertling

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Johann August Daniel Oertling (1803-1866), a Prussian who started off as a journeyman. He produced a variety of instruments, including weighing scale balances.

1826 August Oertling started his own machinery, spring balance and engine business in Berlin, his previous work being like many early engineers in the optical industry. He worked for Alexander von Humboldts before he started on his own.

He was the first person to build an ‘electric dividing engine’. i.e. a machine that was able to consistently produce accurate measurements to make rulers, slide rules and other instruments that required consistent accuracy. Berlin at the time was a centre of engineering activity and invention, and many men went there for apprenticeships, as Oertling’s practice was highly regarded for his work.

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