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* 18. 11. 1839, Pilsen, Czech Republic
† 8. 8. 1900, Selzthal, Austria

Mechanical engineer, entrepreneur

Š. was born into a wealthy family and after secondary modern school which he attended in Pilsn and Eger studied two years at the Technical High School in Prague and then later in Stuttgart. In 1859 he participated as a volunteer in the war in Italy, where he got peptic disease that accompanied him for all his life. He completed his study at the Technical High School in Karlsruhe. Š. obtained the first engineering experience in Chemnitz in the machine-tool factory, founded by Richard Hartmann and later in Magdeburg in the Gruson factory, as well as in Bremen in the Wesser machine factory. After returning to Pilsen he became chief engineer in the machine factory of Ernst von Wallenstein. In 1869 Wallenstein sold the factory to his chief engineer. A production program consisted of steam engines, boilers and pumps, machinery for sugar factories, machinery for breweries, paper factories and briquette factories. He began to expand the company. He entered the Russian market and opened a branch in Kiev as well in 1876. The machine factory had 150 employees at the time. From 1870 onwards the factory, except for occasional cyclical stagnation, experienced one expansion after another: in 1871 a new foundry began operating, in 1872 the fitting of the assembly plant with new cranes and machinery factories with new machine tools, in 1882 opening of the foundry for models and forges and in 1885 a new steel mill began to operate. A year later, Š. built his own railway station "Pilsen-Škodawerke" and the factory for state rail Vienna - Eger. In the 1880s he also managed to enter the defence industries by making tanks.
In 1888, Š. made the first mounts for cannons and began with the series production of 47 mm, 70 mm, 120 mm and 150 mm calibre cannon in 1890. At that time the company employed 3000 workers and Škoda factories were regarded as the largest producer of weapons in the monarchy. In 1897 steel casting plant and Siemens-Martin steel plant began to operate, as well as dressing and casting plants. At that time Škoda factories also manufactured cannons, armoured ships and armoured domes, steel castings parts and forged parts, such as supporters and shafts. In 1899 the transformation into a "Škodawerke a.s." joint-stock company in Pilsn was successfully carried out. Š. maintained a significant impact on society as a president of the board of directors and as director of factories. In 1900 he had 4000 workers and 200 officers. Škoda factories products (including equipment for naval vessels, machinery for sugar factories or breweries, steam and gas engines, cranes, hydraulic presses, machinery for mines and freezers) were sold worldwide. Among other things, Š. supplied the turbines for power plant at Niagara Falls. A sudden death of the founder while driving from his treatment in Bad Gastein suspended the dynamic development of the company. As many patriarchal oriented entrepreneurs of his generation, Š. was also active in the social field: in 1871 he founded a health insurance for his workers and the pension company for officials in 1893.
At the highest point of his entrepreneurial career he was appointed a life member of the House of Lords by the Emperor in 1899. In 1925 Škoda factory took over the Laurin & →Klement car factory in Mlada Boleslav. As a member of the VW group a long-established company still operates.

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