Adolf Ledebur

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Adolf Ledebur

Karl Heinrich Adolf Ledebur (born January 11, 1837 in Blankenburg (Harz) , † June 7, 1906 in Freiberg ( Saxony )) was a German metallurgist .


Ledebur was the son of a postmaster who died in 1856. At that time Adolf Ledebur was doing an internship at the Duke Braunschweigische Eisenhütte Zorge . From 1856 he studied at the Collegium Carolinum in Braunschweig . In 1858 he had to finish his studies for financial reasons and worked in Zorge, later in Rübeland, as an interim plant manager. In 1859 Ledebur was admitted to the examination as a smelter. After passing his examination, he took up his job in 1862 as a smelter aspirant at the ironworks of Count Otto zu Stolberg-Wernigerode in Ilsenburg . In 1866 Ledebur, who had been promoted to smelter inspector in 1864, married the daughter of the Ilsenburg smelter inspector Eduard Schott . Between 1869 and 1871 Ledebur was in charge of the Schwarzkopff iron foundry in Berlin , then he moved to the Gräflich Einsiedelschen Hüttenwerke in Gröditz , where he last worked as a foreman. After 13 years in responsible practice, he became professor for metallurgy and foundry at the Bergakademie Freiberg in 1884 .


Memorial plaque in Freiberg, Brennhausgasse 8

He held the Ledebur award as a secret mountain ridge and the professorship until his death, as well as the management of the ironworks laboratory, which was founded in 1875. Ledebur's lasting merit in the research of the eutectic system iron - carbon is the evidence of a fine-grained mixture of perlite and cementite, which is formed when a pig iron melts cool, and which was named ledeburite in his honor .

Between 1896 and 1898 Ledebur even worked in Japan as a consultant for the development of an iron industry and he was also offered a chair in iron and steel science at the University of Tokyo . According to his plans, the construction of the imperial steelworks Yawata in the prefecture of Fukuoka on Kyushu took place , the facilities of which were delivered from Germany to the value of 5 million Reichsmarks.

From 1899 to 1901 Adolf Ledebur was rector of the Bergakademie Freiberg; Ledebur was the first rector to be elected to his post instead of the usual appointment. Between 1903 and 1905 Ledebur was rector of the university. Of his numerous publications on the iron and steel industry , his handbook of iron and steel foundry , which was translated into several languages and had a number of editions, first appeared in 1883 . It was noteworthy that it already contained instructions on bookkeeping and cost calculation.


The Ledebur building in Freiberg

Ledebur was the bearer of several medals that had been awarded to him in Russia, Japan, Saxony and Spain. In his honor, the new building of the ironworks institute built in 1930 on the campus of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg was named as the Ledebur building . The Ledeburstrasse in Freiberg and the Adolf-Ledebur-Ring in Blankenburg (Harz) also bear his name. The Association of German Foundry Experts (VDG) donated the Adolf Ledebur commemorative coin in his honor in 1934 for services to the foundry industry.


  • Handbook of Metallurgy. Prepared for use in practice as well as for use in teaching. Felix, Leipzig 1884. ( digitized and full text in the German text archive )
  • The wood gas puddle company at Zorger-Hütte am Harz 1860


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