Foundry Museum

The foundry museum is operating in a historic industrial building in Buda, which was home to iron casting from 1858 to 1964. The building was part of the iron works of Abraham Ganz, a Swiss foundryman, who arrived in Pest in 1841 after 7 years of travels and works in various towns and factories in Europe. He worked for three years at the Pest Roller Mill (the first steam mill in Budapest), and had a major role of commissioning and operating the mill’s foundry, smithy and machinery.

In 1844 Ganz became independent and in 1845 bought an estate in Királyhegy street (now Bem street) in Buda and soon opened his iron foundry with 7 foundrymen. The foundry was producing excellent commercial cast iron, and was growing fast. From 1853 Ganz started to produce railway carriage wheels using chilled casting technology and based on the large demand he built a new building in 1858 where most of the wheels were casted.  By 1867 –when Abraham Ganz committed suicide– number of employees at the Ganz factory exceeded 700. After the death of the founder his close colleague András Mechwart took over the leadership and developed the Ganz Works to a global corporation delivering worldwide.

This foundry with saw-tooth roof was in operation till 1964 by using the original technology, when closed down. In 1969 it was reopened to public as a foundry museum. In the museum you can understand the chilled iron casting technology: you can see the two cupola furnaces, the charging room, the furnace blowers, and the phases of the moulding and casting of chilled-cast wheels.  Besides wonderful cast iron stoves, bells, capillary cast iron ornaments and many interesting products can be seen.


Copyright ©: Text and photos by Károly Teleki Industrial Heritage Hungary

Source: 1) Ganz Ábrahám életrajza. Szekeres József (szerző). Tanulmányok Budapest Múltjából XVIII. Budapesti Történeti Múzeum Kiadványa. Budapest, 1971. 2) A Visegrádi Négyek országainak technikai műemlékei II. Magyar Mérnöki Kamara, Budapest, 2004 (ISBN 963-214-544-5). 3) Budapest műszaki útmutatója 1896 (reprint). Edvi Illés Aladár (szerkesztő). TERC Kft., 2005.