Records of Ludwig and Erwin Loewy
Scope and Contents
The Ludwig and Erwin Loewy Records consist of manuscript boxes containing correspondence, photographs, blueprints, magazines, clippings, ephemera, artifacts, books, speeches, staff memoranda, reports, corporate histories, and passports (on loan), 1928-1959. Correspondence and photographs related to the donation of this material to Lehigh University (1990-2012) are also included.
- Loewy, Erwin, 1897-1959 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection is open for research.
Biographical / Historical
[Ludwig Loewy (1887-1942) and Erwin Loewy (1897-1959) were two dynamic brothers from Czechoslovakia who made significant advances in the field of hydraulic engineering and heavy press construction that influenced progress during the twentieth century. Ludwig, initially worked for Sack, a machine tool company, located in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he developed the diesel engines that enabled transatlantic passage of the great oceanliners. In 1914, he joined the firms of Walter Schloemann where he began to design and construct complete hydraulic press installations. Upon the death of W. Schloemann shortly thereafter, his nephew and Ludwig took over the company and Ludwig became the Director and Chief Engineer. His brother Erwin joined the firm in 1931 as Sales Manager.
After the brothers were forced to escape the Nazis in the mid 1930s, their careers were bound up in national defense. Ludwig established a company in England, and Erwin, first in France, and then in the United States. Both men confronted the governments of their respective new homes, and persuaded them to build extrusion presses for the production of the airplanes that were so decisive in the outcome of WW II. After Ludwig’s death in 1942, Erwin continued to build on his brother’s legacy. His crowning achievement was the design and completion of a mammoth 50,000 ton forging press, erected in 1955, which, among many other things, made the development of jet aircraft possible. Subsequently, Erwin entered space-age technology with designs for the first motion simulator for the Polaris missile and the first launch pad for the Vanguard Rocket.
Erwin Loewy was born in Becov, now in Czech Republic, on September 18, 1897. He escaped from Germany in 1935 and from France in 1940. He came to the United States and worked to influence the Armed Forces and industry to accept the need for large extrusion presses to form airplane parts, as had already been developed in Europe. After World War II, Loewy helped relocate some large presses from Europe. He and his company continued to develop extremely large presses for civilian use in the United States. Erwin Loewy died July 13, 1959.
[The Loewy Family Foundation was created to honor the significant achievements of these two brothers, and selected Lehigh University to carry on their innovative work with the establishment of the Loewy Chair in Materials Forming and Processing (1992) and a Loewy Visiting Professorship (1999), and a Loewy Graduate Fellowship (2008)].
- Ludwig Loewy born 1 March in Becov, Czechoslovakia
- Erwin Loewy born 18 Sept. in Becov, Czechoslovakia
- Ludwig graduated from the University of Vienna Prior to 1915 in Berlin, Ludwig operated a tool and machine tool factory
- Ludwig joined the firm of Eduard Schloemann (now SMS) in Dusseldorf
- Schloemann dies. Schloemann nephew and Ludwig assume management
- Erwin graduated from the University for Commercial Science, Pilsen (Plzen), Czechoslovakia and entered the perfume industry in France [as manager of Lentheric]
- Company incorporated, 50% Ludwig Loewy and 50% Mr. Multhaupt
- Erwin joins his brother Ludwig at Schloemann
- Ludwig establishes Loewy Engineering Co. Ltd. in England
- Erwin heads Schloemann after his brother's departure for England
- Erwin leaves Germany, joins Ludwig in England. Then settles in Paris and establishes SPIDEM (Societe pour l'installation d'Etablissements Metalliques)
- The Hydropress Company, chartered Nov. 9, 1935 in England
- Erwin left France for the U.S. (June 10, 1940 Germans outside Paris), arrives in U.S. November 6, 1940, retained at Ellis Island.
- Incorporates Hydropress in the U.S. Hydropress Inc. Divisions: Loewy Construction Co. Loma Machine Machinery & Supply Sintercast
- Ludwig dies 10 Oct.
- Erwin becomes chairman of the City Symphony Orchestra.
- Hydropress and Loewy Construction purchased by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton
- Erwin dies 13 July
- Loewy Engineering Co., Ltd, in England sold to Tube Investing
- Loma Machine sold to Hill Acme
- Sintercast sold to Chrome Alloy
- Loewy Machine Supply was owned and operated by another brother, Alfred Loewy and his wife Rose Loewy. It is now in the hands of a nephew-in-law.
18 Linear Feet (34 boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
The Ludwig and Erwin Loewy Records consists of boxes containing correspondence, photographs, blueprints, magazines, clippings, ephemera, artifacts, books, speeches, staff memoranda, reports, corporate histories, and passports, 1928-1959. The companies that the Loewy brothers were involved with or created are Hydropress, Inc., Schloemann, The Loewy Engineering Co. Ltd, SPIDEM, Loewy Machinery Supply, Loma Machine, and Sintercast. Correspondence and photographs related to the donation of this material to Lehigh University (1990-2012) are also included.
Boxes 1-11 and 18-20 contain business and personal files. Boxes 12 through 17 contain photographs, magazines, clippings, and other ephemera. Loewy Construction Company Inc. The Heavy Press Program of the U.S.A.F. information which document the construction and erection of the 35,000 T and the 50,000T extrusion presses at the Wyman Gordon plant in North Grafton, MA in 1955 are in three oversize volumes titled “The Heavy Press Program of the U.S.A.F.” by the Loewy Construction Co. which consist primarily of photographs catalogued and filed separately under the call number SC T Z0058.
The material here consists of business records and personal material donated by Erwin Loewy's daughter, Brigitte Dolores Loewy Linz, in 1994 and 1995. The material in the Boxes 21 through 29 was donated in 1999. [Mrs. Brigitte Loewy Linz contributed the information regarding the biographical and business relationships not directly reflected in the contents of the collection]. Material contained in subsequent boxes was donated in 2012.
In 1992, The Loewy Family Foundation established a memorial chair known as the Loewy Chair in Materials Forming and Processing; in 1999 a Loewy Visiting Professorship and in 2008 a Loewy Graduate Fellowship. The memorial chair was held by Professor Betzalel Avitzur from 1993 until 1997. The current chair is Professor Wojciech Z. Misiolek (July 1997- ).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection was donated by Brigitte Linz in three installments in 1999, 2007, and 2012.
- Avitzur, Betzalel, 1925-
- DEMAG Cranes
- Hydraulic presses
- Hydropress, Inc. (New York)
- Institute for Metal Forming, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA
- Loewy Construction Co., Inc. (New York)
- Loewy Engineering Co., Ltd. (England)
- Loewy-Hydropress Division of the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corporation
- Mechanical engineers
- Metal -- Extrusion
- Misiolek, Wojciech Z.
- Oil hydraulic machinery industry
- Schloemann, Eduard, 1840-1914
- Schloemann, Walter
- Schloemann-Siemag (Dusseldorf, Germany)
- U.S. Air Force Heavy Press Program
- Records of Ludwig and Erwin Loewy
- Eleanor Nothelfer
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
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