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125 years Chronos-Weigher Hennef

Postcard: 125 years Chronos-Waage

Postcard: 125 years Chronos-Waage

Permanent exhibition ‘Weights, Weighers and Weighing throughout the Centuries’ in the Hennef Meys Fabrik

Permanent exhibition ‘Weights, Weighers and Weighing throughout the Centuries’ in the Hennef Meys Fabrik

Weigher Walking Way

Weigher Walking Way

Industrial training school of the Carl-Reuther-Foundation

Industrial training school of the Carl-Reuther-Foundation

(30.03.2008, eg – we) 1883 was a quite notable year for Hennef. The Hennef industrial pioneers Carl Reuther and Eduard Reisert invented the ‘Chronos-Weigher’ as the first approved automatic weigher in the world which was licensed for calibration by the ‘Kaiserliche Normal Aichungs-Kommission’ (Imperial Weights & Measures Approval Commission) in Berlin on April 12th, 1883. One week and 125 years later a guided walking-tour takes place on the ‘Weigher Walking Way’ established in 2007 in the center of Hennef which recalls the epoch-making pioneer work in Hennef.

As usual, Wolfgang Euler (65) the Hennef expert for weighers, who had the idea of the Weigher Walking Way and who is the originator of the permanent weigher exhibition in the Meys Fabrik, holds the responsibility for the guided tour. Like nobody else Euler is the expert to explain the significance of the Chronos Weigher: ’We neither know exactly who invented the weigher 10.000 years ago nor when and where it happened. But who invented the automatic weigher when and where we definitely know: Carl Reuther and Eduard Reisert 125 years ago in Hennef’

For this special anniversary, W. Euler will guide on April 19th a walking-tour on the Weigher Walking Way in the style of a ‘brewery walking-tour’. Along the way selected pubs will be visited. During this event special attention will be given to the Chronos Malt Control Weigher. The production and brewage of beer will be described in detail and the product can also be tasted. As a little gift, each participant will receive a picture postcard, especially published for the 125th anniversary (see above).

The guided tour will take place on April 19th at 2 p.m. and will last about four hours. Further information and registration at the tourist information of Hennef city, Frankfurter Str. 97, phone: ++49-(0)2242-19433, e-mail: info(at)hennef.de

Guided Tour and Permanent Exhibition

The permanent exhibition ‘Weights, Weighers and Weighing throughout the Centuries’ in the Hennef Meys Fabrik is part of each guided tour on the Weigher Walking Way. Walking Way and permanent exhibition can of course be made use of and visited anytime – free of charge. The exhibition and the 22 locations starting from Hennef town hall via Zissendorf farmyard to the train station certainly dignify especially the Chronos Weigher of the Hennef industrial pioneers Carl Reuther and Eduard Reisert, but do also give a profound insight into the history of weighing from the early beginnings until today’s modern weighers in supermarkets. The exhibition can be visited during the opening hours:

Tuesday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Wednesday 11 a.m. -1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Thursday 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday 11 p.m. -1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. -1 p.m.


Industrialisation and the Hennef Chronos-Weigher

Towards the end of the fifties of the 19th century the industrialisation came to Hennef. In an adjoining building of the ‘Zissendorf Farmyard’ in the Siegfeldstraße, Carl Reuther started to produce agricultural machinery and decimal weighers. Ten years later, in 1869, Carl Reuther founded the ‘Reuther and Co., Agricultural Machinery Factory Hennef’. This made him the first industrialist in Hennef. In 1878, Johann Steimel, a former locksmith, started the production of agricultural machinery and equipment with his company ‘Johann Steimel Machinery Factory’ at Frankfurter Straße/ Steinstraße. The following year, Johann Friedrich Jacobi set up an iron foundry just behind the Hennef train station, and Philipp Löhe founded a factory to manufacture besides bicycles and agricultural machinery also railway carriages for the Bröl-Valley railway. 1881, Joseph Meys established the “Joseph Meys & Comp. GmbH, Landwirtschaftliche Maschinenfabrik und Eisengießerei’ at the Beethovenstraße. Originally, Steimel, Löhe and Meys been working as foremen in the company of Carl Reuther.

This boom during the so-called period of industrial expansion turned out to be revolutionary with regard to weighers and weighing at the beginning of 1880: First, Carl Reuther and his new business partner Eduard Reisert established the ‘Hennefer Maschinenfabrik C. Reuther & Reisert’. Two years later, 1883, they registered their invention, the first automatic calibratable weigher in the world, for type approval. On April 12th, 1883, the ‘Chronos-Weigher’ was approved as official standard value for calibration by the ‘Imperial Weights & Measures Approval Commission’ in Berlin. Reuther and Reisert explicitly chose the term “Chronos” (Greek for ‘the time’) as well for this type of weigher as for the company as well. With the invention of this so-called “Chronos-Weigher” 10.000 years of manual weighing of bulk goods came to an end and the era of automatic weighers began. For the first time the Chronos- Weigher made it possible to weigh bulk goods fully automatically, fast and accurately.

Up to the late 20th century the Chronos Company in the center of Hennef had the absolute market monopoly to build this kind of automatic weighers to weigh bulk goods like malt and grain precisely, purely mechanically and solely with gravitational forces. Subsequently the weigher automatically discharged the goods into silos, ships or trading units like bags.

Until 1991, the weighers were produced in the center of Hennef and exported all around the globe. After the shutdown of the company a modern complex of apartment houses and business buildings were set up at the Frankfurter Straße. However, a part of the historical structure was preserved, especially the administration buildings next to the street. The production halls don’t exist anymore; only the so-called ‘Hochbau’ with the fire brigade tower has been maintained. Today a fitness center is located in this building.

Carl Reuther’s Professional School

Carl Reuther made a great contribution not only with regard to the invention of his revolutionary weigher, but also in the field of professional education: In 1897, he donated a piece of land and 10,000 Mark cash to the Hennef municipality to establish a training school which was opened in 1899 under the name ‘Industrial Vocational School of the Carl-Reuther-Foundation’, and for decades it has been the only school of this kind in this region. Later on Carl Reuther donated further considerable moneys to the school.

The education started in two classes with 60 students, mostly apprentices from the metal industry. Carl Reuther’s idealistic maxim was ‘Not to amass and to hunt / not to knock bloody wounds / but to help to establish a better world / therefore this institution has been founded / that the work will go hand in hand / that it will unite land to land and heart to heart.’

At the beginning of 1914 already seven teachers taught 128 students in German language, arithmetic, geometry and correspondence. In 1935, the school became part of a regional administration union of the vocational training schools of the municipalities Hennef, Neunkirchen and Uckerath as well as the departments Lauthausen, Oberpleis and Ruppichteroth. The school was now named ‘Vocational Training School Hennef/Sieg of the Carl-Reuther-Foundation’. 1960, the vocational training school was moved to the new premises Gartenstraße. 1968, the district authorities (Siegkreis) took over the responsibility of the vocational school in Hennef, the school was now named “District Vocational Training School Hennef”. With the start of the school year 1975/76 the school was removed into a new building in the Fritz-Jacobi-Straße where it is still today.

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