Philipp Matthäus Hahn

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Philipp Matthäus Hahn

Philipp Matthäus Hahn (born November 25, 1739 in Scharnhausen ; † May 2, 1790 in Echterdingen ) was a German pastor and engineer .


Double globe clock (around 1785) by Philipp Matthäus Hahn (design) and Philipp Gottfried Schaudt (execution) ( German Clock Museum , Furtwangen)

Philipp Matthäus Hahn was the second of five children from the first marriage of the Protestant pastor Georg Gottfried Hahn (1705–1764). His father taught him Greek, Latin and Hebrew as a child. Philipp Matthäus Hahn showed great interest in astronomy at an early age. At the age of twelve he attended the Latin school in Esslingen . In 1752 his mother Juliana Hahn, née Kaufmann (1711–1752), died. His father married a second time. Five more children were born in this marriage. Philipp Matthäus Hahn applied for admission to one of the Protestant monastery schools in Württemberg, but did not get a chance at the Landexamen , a competitive test leading to admission. Instead he attended the Nürtingen Latin School. Here he developed sundials as a technical autodidact . In his theological fields of study he dealt with the teachings of Johann Arndt , who is considered to be the pioneer of Pietism , and the rationalist philosophy of Christian Wolff . In 1756 his father was transferred to Onstmettingen as a punishment for being drunk . It was there that Hahn met his friend of the same age and later employee, the provisional (since 1755) or schoolmaster (since 1761) Philipp Gottfried Schaudt , who had completed an apprenticeship as a watchmaker. From 1757 to 1759 Hahn continued his theological training in Tübingen . There he developed parts for the construction of telescopes and sundials in his free time . During his studies he starved himself. He earned his living with his talent for making instruments, partly in collaboration with his friend Philipp Gottfried Schaudt, as his father did not support him financially. Hahn was waived half of the examination fees due to his poverty; the other part of the fee was paid by relatives.

Calculating drum by Philipp Matthäus Hahn, Onstmettingen, before 1770, Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart

After completing his studies, Hahn was in 1760 in the area of ​​the secularized (now Protestant) Benedictine male monastery Lorch private tutor to the chief magistrate and monastery administrator Heinrich Scheinemann and this year also briefly vicar to the Lorch monastery pastor Philipp Ulrich Moser (1720-1792), later the first Latin and Greek teacher of Friedrich Schiller in 1765/1766. Schiller immortalized this in his drama Die Räuber (1781) as "Pastor Moser". Hahn received his second of several appointments as vicar in 1761 in Breitenholz . He represented Friedrich Christoph Oetinger in Herrenberg . In 1764 he became a pastor in Onstmettingen , today's district of Albstadt , as the successor to his late father. Here, with Schaudt's participation, his first inclination scales , world machines and the eye sundial named after him , which was intended for testing living clocks, were created. Hahn was the inventor of the inclination scales, which spread quickly and got by without weights. With this and with his other inventions he is also considered the founder of the precision engineering industry in the Zollernalb district , which developed in the 19th century. The world machines just mentioned are astronomical clocks that contain chronological tables on the progress of salvation history sketched by Johann Albrecht Bengel as well as synchronized helio- and geocentric orreries . This was only completed after Hahn's death. At the suggestion of his client, Duke Carl Eugens , to whom he gave an astronomical clock in 1767 and who admired him and dubbed him “God's clockmaker”, he received the well-endowed parish in Kornwestheim in 1770 . The Duke also offered him the mathematics professorship in Tübingen in 1770, but Hahn turned it down. There he also ran a watchmaker's workshop, in which he also employed relatives who made the instruments according to his plans. As a supplement to the worship service, he introduced an hour of edification. In 1781 he received the best endowed parish in the country in Echterdingen . There he mainly built pocket watches, about which he also wrote a book.

For his astronomical clocks and instruments, extensive calculations were sometimes necessary, so that he began to design and build calculating machines. They were the first fully functional four-species calculating machines ( apart from two computers by Anton Braun at the Viennese court), based on Leibniz's staggered roller principle, which he probably knew from the work of Jacob Leupold . He built the first machine from 1770 onwards. The prototype was finished in 1773, but was not presented until 1778 because there were problems with the reliability of the tens transfer. By 1779 there were four machines, a total of five to six, of which two still exist in the ( Württemberg State Museum in Stuttgart, and in the Technoseum in Mannheim). Replicas are in the Arithmeum in Bonn and in the Philipp-Matthäus-Hahn-Museum in Albstadt-Onstmettingen.

In 1775 his wife Anna Maria Rapp (* 1749, marriage 1764), a daughter of the mayor of Schorndorf Ulrich Rapp, died giving birth to their seventh child. Four sons from the marriage reached adulthood, and two of them became watchmakers. A year later in 1776 he married Beata Regina (1757-1824), a daughter of the pastor's original Johann Friedrich Flattich . After his death, their daughter Beate Eleutherie and her mother tried to spread Hahn's teachings.

Hahn published several theological books and was in correspondence with Lavater and Franz von Baader, among others . He financed the printing of his books - to circumvent censorship abroad - with his instruments.

In 1779 he became a member of the Academy of Charitable Sciences in Erfurt .

A close colleague (and his brother-in-law) was Johann Christoph Schuster , who also built other calculating machines based on Hahn's principle. Hahn's work on calculating machines was also continued by his eldest son Christoph Matthäus Hahn (1767-1833), von Schaudt and the Sauter brothers in Esslingen (who got their knowledge from Schaudt).

Philipp Matthäus Hahn died in 1790 of pneumonia or lung cancer. His grave was long thought to be lost, but was located again in 1985 in the Echterdingen church cemetery, with a memorial plaque being attached.

Appreciations and memories

  • To commemorate the life and work of Philipp Matthäus Hahn, the Philipp Matthäus Hahn Museum was opened in Onstmettingen in 1989 (on the occasion of his 250th birthday) .
  • In 1989, the city of Kornwestheim awarded the Philipp-Matthäus-Hahn-Preis for the first time. The Friends of Philipp Matthäus Hahn set up a small museum in his former home in Kornwestheim (Pfarrstrasse 7).
  • A small memorial in the Echterdingen local history museum reminds of Hahn's Echterdingen time. In addition to an outline of his life, some of his mechanical works that were created in his workshop in the old rectory are shown.
  • The original two house scales designed by Hahn can be seen in the Museum of Scales and Weight in Balingen. The sundial installed by Hahn as a theology student in 1760 is located on the tower of the town church there.
  • There are memorial plaques for Philipp Matthäus Hahn at the Protestant rectories and churches (or very close to them) in Scharnhausen, Echterdingen, Onstmettingen and Kornwestheim. The latter also reminds Hahn that Johann Caspar Lavater and (on December 15, 1779) Johann Wolfgang Goethe and his employer, Karl August Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach , later (from 1815) Grand Duke of Saxony , visited Hahn -Weimar-Eisenach, had.
  • In Stuttgart, Philipp Matthäus Hahn is honored with a free-standing monument, a geocentric celestial sphere, near the Liederhalle .
  • Several schools (e.g. in Echterdingen , Kornwestheim , Nürtingen , Balingen ) are named after Hahn.
  • Streets and squares also bear Hahn's name, for example in Scharnhausen, Kornwestheim (there is also the parish hall), in Echterdingen and Onstmettingen (there is also the Protestant church).
  • In 1989, the Research Society for Watch and Precision Engineering, founded in 1955, was established in the Hahn-Schickard Society for Applied Research in honor of Wilhelm Schickard and Philipp Matthäus Hahn . V. (HSG) renamed.
  • Since November 2014 a celestial globe designed by Hagen Betzwieser has adorned the roundabout at the entrance to Kornwestheim. The versatility of Hahn, who worked in Kornwestheim from 1770 to 1781, is conveyed by the sculpture, as the artist incorporated Hahn's professions in one of the cardinal directions: the astronomer (north-south), the priest (south-north), the engineer (east-west ) and the entrepreneur (west-east).
  • The German Society for Chronometry awards a Philipp-Matthäus-Hahn-Medal

Picture gallery

See also


Primary literature

  • Martin Brecht , Rudolf F. Paulus (ed.): Philipp Matthäus Hahn: The Kornwestheimer Diaries 1772–1777 . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1979, ISBN 3-11-007115-0 .
  • Martin Brecht, Rudolf Friedrich] Paulus (ed.): Philipp Matthäus Hahn: Die Echterdinger Tagebücher 1780–1790 . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1983, ISBN 3-11-008910-6 .
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: Brief description of a small, mobile world machine, which Sr. Hochfürstl. In honor of the ruling Prince Joseph Friedrich Wilhelm zu Hohenzollern Hechingen, under the direction of Pastor M. Philipp Matthäus Hahn von Onstmettingen, the schoolmaster Schaudten made it there. Lüdolph, Constanz 1770. - (Facsimile reprint: Reinhard Breymayer (Hrsg.): Short description of a small, movable world machine. With a foreword by Alfred Munz. Noũs-Verlag Thomas Leon Heck , Tübingen 1988, ISBN 3-924249-03 -2 .)
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: Description of mechanical works of art. 1. u. Part 2. With an autobiographical preface . JB Mezler, Stuttgart 1774. (Reprint: Lithos, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-88480-013-2 )
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: Left Writings . Edited by Christoph Ulrich Hahn. JD Class, Heilbronn / Rothenburg an der Tauber 1828.
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: hours of edification on the letter to the Ephesians . Ferd. Riehm, Basel 1878.
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: Sermons and reflections. 11th edition. Reutlingen 1989.
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn: The good news of the Kingdom of God . Metzingen 1963.
  • Johann Albrecht Bengel ; Philipp Matthäus Hahn (edit.): The main thing of the revelation Johannis. 1772.
  • [Philipp Matthäus Hahn, Jakob Friedrich Klemm]: Something to understand the kingdom of God and Christ . Frankfurt [am Main] / Leipzig [rather Kornwestheim] 1774. (2nd edition [anonymous] under the title FingerPoint to the understanding of the Kingdom of God and Christ . Winterthur 1778.) (New edition under the title: Philipp Matthäus Hahn: FingerPoint to the understanding of the Kingdom of God and Christ. Reflections . Metzingen / Württ. 1999.)
  • Philipp Matthäus Hahn - Jakob Friedrich Klemm: Something about the understanding of the Kingdom of God and Christ ("finger pointing") * including an excerpt from the "Theological Notebook" by Philipp Matthäus Hahn with nine selected treatises from the context of the Ephesians interpretation of 1774. Ed. by Walter Stäbler. (Stuttgart: Association for Württemberg Church History c / o Landeskirchliches Archiv Stuttgart) 2016 (Small publications of the Association for Württemberg Church History, No. 20) - ISBN 978-3-944051-11-6 .

Secondary literature

In chronological order of appearance:

  • Max Engelmann: Life and work of the Württemberg priest and precision engineer Philipp Matthäus Hahn . Richard Carl Schmidt & Co, Berlin 1923.
  • Theodor Heuss : Philipp Matthäus Hahn, pastor and mechanic. In: Ders .: Shadow conjuring. Figures on the margins of history . Wunderlich, Stuttgart / Tübingen 1947; Klöpfer and Meyer, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-931402-52-5
  • Bruno Baron von Freytag LöringhoffHahn, Philipp Matthäus. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 7, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1966, ISBN 3-428-00188-5 , p. 496 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Friedhelm Groth: The return of all things in Württemberg pietism. Studies in the history of theology on the eschatological universalism of salvation of Württemberg Pietists of the 18th century. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1984, pp. 153-162. ( Works on the history of Pietism , Volume 21).
  • Aagje Ricklefs, Christian Väterlein (Red.): Philipp Matthäus Hahn 1739–1790. Pastor, astronomer, engineer, entrepreneur . 2 volumes. Württembergisches Landesmuseum, Stuttgart 1989, OCLC 740147919 .
  • Alfred Munz: Philipp Matthäus Hahn pastor and mechanic . Jan Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1990, ISBN 3-7995-4122-5 .
  • Walter Stäbler: Pietistic theology under interrogation. Philipp Matthäus Hahn's system and its objection by the Württemberg consistory . Dissertation, Münster in Westphalia 1990. Calwer Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-7668-3130-5 .
  • Günther Schweizer: family, ancestors and relatives of Philipp Matthäus Hahn. Pastor, astronomer, engineer and entrepreneur. 1739-1790 . Published by the Friends of the City Museum Leinfelden-Echterdingen e. V. (Tübingen: Günther Schweizer, 2006.) ( Series of publications by the Friends of the City Museum Leinfelden-Echterdingen e.V. , Vol. 2). ISBN 3-00-020221-8 .
  • Werner Raupp : Art. Hahn, Philipp Matthäus (1739–1790), in: The Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century German Philosophers. Edited by Heiner F. Klemme and Manfred Kuehn, Vol. 2, London / New York 2010, pp. 443–445.
  • Ralf Kern: Scientific instruments in their time . Walther König Publishing House, Cologne 2010.
  • Eckart Roloff : Philipp Matthäus Hahn: The Swabian Leonardo, a brilliant mechanic. In: Eckart Roloff: Divine flashes of inspiration. Pastors and priests as inventors and discoverers. Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-32578-8 , pp. 197-209. [With information on places of remembrance, memorials, museums, etc. Ä.] (2nd updated edition. 2012, ISBN 978-3-527-32864-2 ).
  • Eckart Roloff: God's miracle in the calculating machine - pastor and mechanic Philipp Matthäus Hahn (text about Hahn for the 2015 presentation of the Stuttgart cultural region on the topic of "Inspiration")

Web links

Commons : Philipp Matthäus Hahn  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Holger Gayer: Philipp Matthäus Hahn . In: Stuttgarter Zeitung. April 29, 2004, p. 25.
  2. On this and on Hahn's effect on Schiller Reinhard Breymayer: Erhard Weigel's pupil Detlev Clüver and his influence on Friedrich Christoph Oetinger (1702–1782) […] In: Katharina Habermann, Klaus-Dieter Herbst (ed.): Erhard Weigel ( 1625–1699) and his students . Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Göttingen 2016, p. 269–323, here p. 317–322: Evidence of a connection between Franz Joseph Reichsgraf von Thun and Hohenstein, who was familiar with Mozart and Beethoven , the mechanic Philipp Gottfried Schaudt and the pastor Philipp Matthäus Hahn. Is there a trace of Hahn's theology in Schiller's ode " To Joy "? Thun-Hohenstein was, like his uncle Joseph Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, the client for an astronomical machine from Hahn and the husband of Mozart's and Beethoven's patroness Maria Wilhelmina Countess of Thun and Hohenstein, née. Imperial Countess von Uhlfeld, as well as Mozart's father-in-law and Beethoven's temporary friend Karl Alois Prince von Lichnowsky . - Cf. also Reinhard Breymayer: astronomy, calendar dispute and love theology. From Erhard Weigel […] to Friedrich Christoph Oetinger and Philipp Matthäus Hahn to Friedrich Schiller, Johann Andreas Streicher, Franz Joseph Graf von Thun and Hohenstein, Mozart and Beethoven. Heck, Dußlingen, 2016. ISBN 978-3-924249-58-8 .
  3. Ralf Kern: Scientific instruments in their time / Volume 3: Striving for accuracy in space and time . Cologne, 2010. p. 430.
  4. Frank Peter Unterreiner: A Swabian inventor: Philipp Matthäus Hahn and his "world machines" - miracles of clock technology . In: Stuttgarter Zeitung , November 29, 1991.
  5. : With Hahn . In: Schwarzwälder Bote , March 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Chronicle of Leinfelden-Echterdingen 1985