Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Carl Otto

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Carl Otto (1838-1897)

1897 Obituary [1]

CARL OTTO died at Ahrweiler on November 13, 1897. Born in Mexico on March 7, 1838, he was educated at Giessen and graduated at that University as Doctor of Philosophy at the early age of twenty. He completed his education at the School of Mines of Freiberg in. Saxony, and worked in the laboratory of various works in the neighbourhood.

From 1860 to 1872 he was employed first as chemist and subsequently as technical manager at the fire-brick works of H. J. Vygen & Co. at Duisburg. In 1872 he founded the firebrick manufactory of Dr. C. Otto & Co. at Dahlhausen on the Ruhr. Beginning on a small scale, he soon built up a business of great magnitude.

Since 1876 the company supplied the various German coalfields with not less than 9922 coke-ovens. By the introduction of the collection of by-products the coke industry became a scientific operation of great complexity. Large capital was required for the plant, and it was problematic whether remunerative prices would be obtained for the products later on. Dr. Otto, however, started the industry by providing complete by-product plant, payment for which was made from sales of the by-products. He was a Member of Council of the Society of German Ironmasters, and a member of the Society of German Engineers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1884, and read before the Institute in that year a valuable paper on the most recent results obtained in Germany by utilising the by-products from coke-ovens.

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