Friedrich August von Pauli

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Friedrich August von Pauli

Friedrich August von Pauli (born May 6, 1802 in Osthofen , † June 26, 1883 in Kissingen ) was a German civil engineer , construction clerk and pioneer of railway bridge construction. He is considered the creator of the Royal Bavarian State Railways .


Friedrich August von Pauli was born on May 6, 1802 in Osthofen near Worms as the twelfth child of the pastor Johann Philipp Gerhard Pauli (1750-1816) and his wife to the Hamburg merchant's daughter Maria Kneetmann . The boy attended the Progymnasium Grünstadt (1811-1814) and the Gymnasium Kaiserslautern (1814-1817). In 1816, the father died. Since his brother Jacob already at the Ruprecht-Karls University in Heidelberg jurisprudence studied, it was difficult for the mother to hold him in high school. His brother Wilhelm († 1821), who was the authorized signatory of a Hamburg company in Manchester , therefore suggested that Friedrich August stay with him and provide for further training. So Friedrich August traveled to Manchester in the summer of 1817.


In the business run by his brother, he acquired knowledge of commercial accounting and discovered his penchant for mechanics in the works of a library. His brother Wilhelm recognized the abilities and sent Friedrich August to the physicist John Dalton (1766-1844), who gave him private lessons in mathematics and mechanics. In the workshop of a mechanical engineer, Pauli received practical lessons in mechanics and mechanical engineering for two years. Wilhelm fell seriously ill in the winter of 1820 and died in July 1821. Friedrich August was on his own in the foreign country. After completing his apprenticeship, he opened a metal lathe workshop on his own account in the spring of 1821. However, his income was not enough to make a living. Then Friedrich August decided to return to Germany. After unsuccessful job search, he studied mathematics and natural sciences at the University of Göttingen until 1823 .

Pauli was then accepted into the “Kreis-Baubureau Speyer” as a construction candidate. The first work was the recording, project planning and cost accounting in road construction. In the autumn of 1824 the dams were damaged by floods on almost the entire Bavarian side of the Rhine and he was - together with others - responsible for the repair.

In May 1825 he traveled to Munich for the “Concurprüfung”, the first state examination . Because of his knowledge of mechanics, he was advised to take the saline service exam . In the summer, Pauli prepared for the “Mountain Exam” in Munich. After the death of King Maximilian I of Bavaria in October 1825, the plan was to drastically reduce the number of officials. Pauli received the message that under these circumstances no more exams for the mining industry would be held.

A patron of Pauli gave him the opportunity to attend Joseph von Fraunhofer's lectures . Fraunhofer recognized the abilities of his student and granted him permanent employment in his institute without mutual obligation. Pauli gradually became Fraunhofer's assistant both in his workshops and in science. In the winter of 1825, Fraunhofer fell seriously ill and Pauli looked after him at times until Fraunhofer died in his presence on June 7, 1826. After Fraunhofer's death, the institute was to become state property. Fraunhofer had decreed in a corresponding contract that Pauli should become an inspector and his successor. Pauli declined the Ministry of Finance's offer.

Professional background

He returned to Speyer, where he was hired on July 26, 1826 as a construction intern. His task was to create the leveling for the continuation of the Canal Monsieur , today a section of the Rhine-Rhône Canal , from the French border to Speyer , and to calculate the cost of the construction together with the Oberbaurat Panzer .

In 1827 Pauli was appointed "Temporary Engineer". After the canal project was completed in the same year, he was transferred to Munich. The saltworks administration also showed interest in him in order to use him in construction and mechanical engineering. However, it was initially used for another shipping canal from Kelheim an der Donau to Bamberg am Main . He should choose the route for this. To do this, he examined the watershed between the Danube and the Main, the side valleys and the amount of water that could be used to feed the canal. On the basis of his report it was decided that the canal line at Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate should be led over the watershed. From the spring of 1828 he specifically planned what would later become known as the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal . This occupied him until the beginning of 1832. In April 1832 the state building industry was reorganized and Pauli was appointed director of the Reichenhall building inspection. In 1835 he was appointed chief engineer at the highest building authority, professor of higher mechanics at the University of Munich (he never performed this function in practice) and was appointed second director at the polytechnic school

Railway engineer

In 1841 he was appointed a member of the Railway Construction Commission established in Nuremberg . In Nuremberg he moved into the Tafelhofer Schlösschen in front of the city. He was initially responsible for the Augsburg-Nuremberg section of the Ludwigs-Süd-Nord-Bahn . Together with Paul Camille Denis , who was appointed to Hof for the section from Nuremberg to the Saxon border , the Railway Construction Commission began its work on July 1, 1841. However, after one and a half years, irreconcilable differences of opinion between Pauli and Denis led to Pauli being entrusted with the technical management of the entire Ludwig-Süd-Nord-Bahn in 1842. Outstanding achievements were the largely straight line routing, which today z. E.g. on the original road between Erlangen and Lichtenfels a speed of up to 200 km / h is possible, the overcoming of the inclined plane between Neuenmarkt-Wirsberg and Marktschorgast and the foresight with which Pauli pushed through the continuous expansion of the line for double-track operation despite tight state finances even if initially only one track was laid. It was not until 1876 that the step-by-step construction of the second track began. Overcoming the Fichtelgebirge presented Pauli with the greatest challenge of his career. Friedrich List , mastermind of a European railway network, saw all his plans fail at this point. Friedrich August von Pauli, however, decided after intensive terrain research and weighing up all technical and economic possibilities to conquer the mountains using conventional adhesion operations with narrow arc radii and large gradients.

However, the locomotives of the English design that had been common up to that time could not be used. Thanks to his diverse and in-depth knowledge of mechanical engineering, Pauli also showed solutions here. In 1846 he submitted a program for the production of own locomotives to the responsible Bavarian Ministry of the Interior. In it, he formulated the requirements for corresponding locomotives. This was approved.

In addition, he was gradually assigned the technical construction management of the Augsburg – Buchloe , Bamberg - Aschaffenburg ( Ludwigs-West-Bahn ) and Ulm - Augsburg - Munich - Salzburg ( Maximiliansbahn ) lines.

After construction of the Göltzschtalbrücke began in 1846, there were problems with the construction. Von Pauli and Negrelli were commissioned by the Saxon government to provide an expert opinion on the further construction.

Großhesseloher Bridge before 1908

On November 11, 1852, State Minister Ludwig von der Pfordten thanked him in a letter for the completion of the Western Railway to Schweinfurt and appointed Pauli as government director. From 1853 to 1857, a bridge construction developed by Pauli was used for the first time in the construction of the Großhesseloher Bridge on the Munich - Salzburg railway line. With the typical lens-shaped steel lattice girders, lens girders, called Pauli girders, it made it possible for the first time to bridge large spans.

In 1856, Pauli was also appointed head of the Supreme Building Authority, while at the same time remaining head of the Railway Construction Commission. On August 15, 1860, the Railway Construction Commission was merged with the General Directorate of the Royal Transport Authority. As a result, Pauli lost the leadership of this authority after 19 years. On February 3, 1872, he was retired, which he spent in Leutstetten . In the winter of 1878 he wrote the "Confidential Messages from My Life". He died on June 26, 1883 and was buried at his own request at the place where he died, in Bad Kissingen.


He was married to Franziska Kurz (* 1798), three children survived him.


In Munich, a statue of Pauli was erected in the new train station, which was created by the sculptor Knoll .

Pauli was the first to use isohypses in plans . Karl Culmann and Heinrich Gottfried Gerber were among his students .



Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helmut Hilz: Construction of iron bridges and entrepreneurship in southern Germany: Heinrich Gerber (1832-1912) , Verlag Steiner, 1993, p. 30, ISBN 3515062866 ; (Detail scan)
  2. Biographical Lexicon of the Austrian Empire (p. 125, right column)
  3. ^ Obituary , Centralblatt der Bauverwaltung , July 21, 1883, p. 266, accessed on December 19, 2012