List of employees at the F.A. Brockhaus printing office & typefoundry, 1842

Posted on 8 March 2019 in:

Crop of a 1856 illustration showing the F.A. Brockhaus building in Leipzig. See the full image here.

How many people worked at typefoundries during the nineteenth century? Who were those individuals and what did they do? Wouldn’t it be great if registries survived, which could let us know? Employee lists are hard to come by. When you can’t find them, there are other ways to compile some of the information they might have kept: for example, in David Shields’s 2016 lecture at ATypI Warsaw, he explained how he used US Census records to help determine the number of employees at American wood type manufacturers.

To date, I’ve only run across employee lists for two typefoundries operating in Germany before the First World War: Genzsch & Heyse in Hamburg and Gebr. Klingspor in Offenbach am Main. For Genzsch & Heyse, a small 1908 company history book contains two lists. The first is from 1883, the second from 1907.[1] The family of Karl Hermann Klingspor, the Gebr. Klingspor foundry’s last director, retains an intact card catalogue of the firm’s employees. A typoscript made from these cards is in the Klingspor Museum’s collection.[2] Recently, at the Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum in Leipzig, I checked out an 1842 commemorative broadsheet printed by F.A. Brockhaus.[3] That dates to right around the time that Brockhaus moved its Weimar typefoundry – which they had purchased from Justus Erich Walbaum (yes, that Walbaum) in 1836 – to their home base in Leipzig. The broadsheet’s lower third contains the names of 165 individuals who worked at the company printing house and typefoundry. This list does not name all 235 of F.A. Brockhaus’s employees. That the company also had sixteen printing apprentices, seven typefounding apprentices, and 47 »Nebenarbeiter« (probably something like “odd jobbers”) is only explained at the bottom of the sheet.

F.A. Brockhaus’s employee base in 1842

Reading through the list, one thing struck me in particular: Brockhaus’s workers came from a broad geographic area. Their employee base was in no way limited to workers born in Leipzig, Weimar, or the surrounding towns and smaller cities. Below, you’ll see other large cities from further afield, such as Berlin, Bremen, Breslau, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Zürich. The people who worked at Brockhaus came from places all across German-speaking Europe. I think that this list is a good example of how mobile labor was in the printing industry in Germany, before industrialisation. The “industrial revolution” took place later in Germany than in Britain, France, or the United States. Many historians date its beginnings there to just after the revolutions of 1848. Printing, as a series of trades, had already begun to industrialise at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Typefoundries began to mechanise, too, after about 1845. Brockhaus was an early adopter of both new printing press models and typecasting machines.

You may be familiar with F.A. Brockhaus, especially if you are from Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. A publisher until relatively recently, and the company is probably best known for its encyclopaedias. Unfortunately, Brockhaus’s 1842 employee list only has workers’ names and places of origin. It isn’t possible to figure out who did what, just by reading it through it. Genzsch & Heyse and Gebr. Klingspor’s employee lists are more helpful in this regard. I would certainly like to know if any of these 165 workers were draughtspersons, punchcutters, or matrix justifiers. I suspect that at least half to two-thirds of all the people named worked in printing, and not in typecasting. Although most of the individuals’ first names are abbreviated – e.g., “Joh. Chr.” for Johann Christian or “Fr. Wilh.” for Friedrich Wilhelm – the abbreviations are common, which leads me to believe that all 165 of the people named here were men (despite it being tempting to imagine that some of the “Joh.,” “Herm.,” and “Wilh.” entries on the list could stand for Johanna, Herma, and Wilhelmine).

Wrapping up this introduction, I need to let you know what to expect from the rest of this post. After the “audience” bit below, I cite Friedrich Bauer’s 1928 historical overview of the F.A. Brockhaus foundry’s first few decades (I have translated that passage into English). Following that, I have published the entire text of the 1842 Brockhaus broadsheet, in its original German. The bulk of this text is the employee list itself. On the artefact itself, the 165 employees’ names appear in five columns of 33 each. That list is not numbered on the original broadsheet, as my transcription is.


What’s the point of my even posting this? I have to admit that I don’t have a particular audience in mind. I wrote some of my other post on this blog for specific people (I hoped that they would read them, and find the content useful). In the case of this list, though, I want to remember that it existed. While I was writing my dissertation, I did most of my work inside an app called Scrivener. This allowed me to save and sort hundreds of little text files. Since my dissertation is done, that file system is not a good place for this list to live. I know some other researchers with multiples folders or text files on their hard drives, and I am definitely not going to follow their practice. Once information is out of sight, it falls out of mind. I’d forget I even had it. To keep this list fresher in my memory, I’m publishing it here.

Perhaps you will find your own use for this list, even though I don’t know who “you” are. Maybe you care as much about nineteenth century printing office staff sizes as much as I care about foundry sizes. Perhaps you’re curious about what the most-common last name among 150+ seemingly random Germans in the 1840s might have been (it was Lehmann, at least in this case). Or maybe you are about to have a baby, and you’re looking for an old-fashioned name. Ludwig Franz or Traugott Ferdinand, anyone?

Friedrich Bauer’s historical overview of the foundry in this period

In his Chronik der Schriftgießereien, Friedrich Bauer presented a summary of the Brockhaus foundry’s history up to this point. Here is his text, in my English-language translation:

In 1836, the F.A. Brockhaus printing company acquired the Walbaum typefoundry in Weimar, which was famous for its excellent typefaces. This moved to Leipzig in 1843. In addition to casting type for the printing house’s own needs, the foundry also took orders from a large clientele for a few decades.

The F.A. Brockhaus firm was established in 1814 at Altenburg. Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus (born 4 May 1772 in Dortmund, died 20 August 1823 in Leipzig) had run a publishing business in Amsterdam, which he moved to Altenburg in 1810, and then to Leipzig in 1817. In 1818, he joined with a printing office, which he called the “Second Teubner Printing Office,” until his son Friedrich Brockhaus – who had apprenticed at Vieweg in Braunschweig – received a concession to be a printer on 21 October 1820.

Born on 23 September 1800 in Dortmund, Friedrich Brockhaus lived until 24 August 1865. After 1819, he devoted himself to managing the printing office. The first rapid press delivered to Leipzig, in 1826, ran in his plant. Brockhaus set up the first type casting machine in Leipzig, too, in 1845. In later years, they also had casting machines and tools for typefounders built inside their mechanical workshop. The foundry distributed most of the common typefaces from the time, and they repeatedly published extensive type specimens. In 1854, the foundry consisted of seven typecasting furnaces and three typecasting machines. By 1879, twelves casting machines were running inside the foundry. Heinrich Brockhaus, the second son of Friedrich Arnold (born 4 February 1804 in Amsterdam, died 15 November 1874) devoted himself to the book trade [i.e., not the foundry or the printing office].[4]

The document

Diese Pergamentrolle ist bei der am 19. März 1842, Abends 6 Uhr von den Herren Friedrich Brockhaus und Heinrich Brockhaus als dermaligen Inhabern des Hauses F.A. Brockhaus vorgenommenen Grundsteinlegung ihres Neuzuerbauenden Buchdruckerei- und Schriftgiessereigebäudes auf Ansuchen der unten verzeichneten sämmtlichen Mitglieder ihrer Buchdruckerei und Schriftgießerei als Denkmal ihrer Freude an dem ruhmwürdigen, segenverbreitenden Blühen des Geschäftes in den Grundstein dieses Gebäudes niedergelegt worden.

Mögen unsere Nachkommen einst durch diese einfache Schrift erfahren, dass wir, die Unterzeichneten, in den beiden würdigen Erbauern dieses Hauses unsere thätigsten und edelsinnigsten Herren Principale verehrten.

Wir verschliessen diese Schrift mit dem Wunsche: „Schenke, ew’ger Vater, dein Gedeihen / Zu dem rüstig angefang’nen Bau, / Den sie ihres Strebens Werkstatt weihen, / Ruhmbekannt in jedem deutschen Gau. / Thu’ es kund durch deines Segens Höhe, / Dass ihr Grundbau unerschüttert stehe.“

Personal der Buchdruckerei und Schriftgiesserei:

  1. Ackermann, Chr. Ferd., aus Leipzig.
  2. Adolf, Friedrich, aus Niederingelheim.
  3. Apel, Joh. Chr., aus Beutnitz.
  4. Arndt, Albert, aus Berlin.
  5. Arnold, Chr. Andr., aus Stötteritz.
  6. Bähr, Fr. Ant., aus Frankfurt a.M.
  7. Bachmann, Heinrich, aus Zöbigker.
  8. Ballhorn, Ernst Fr., aus Brandenburg.
  9. Baumgart, Fr., aus Weimar.
  10. Becker, Joh. Dietr., aus Bremen.
  11. Benedict, Joh. Chr., aus Lausigk.
  12. Bertrand, J.A.W., aus Braunschweig.
  13. Bonde, Gust., aus Meusebach.
  14. Bieler, Chr. Gottl., aus Dresden.
  15. Böhme, Alexander, aus Leipzig.
  16. Böhme, J.K.R., aus Volksmarsdorf.
  17. Bosse, Louis, aus Braunschweig.
  18. Brück, Fr. Wilh., aus Pirna.
  19. Clar, Fr., aus Stuttgart.
  20. Colditz, Theodor, aus Leipzig.
  21. Conrad, Aug. Heinr., aus Glessine.
  22. Cordes, Bernhard, aus Hamburg.
  23. Dittebrand, Karl Fr., aus Bunzlau.
  24. Dreibrod, Fr. Aug., aus Pouch.
  25. Eckell, Jac. Heinr., aus Husum.
  26. Eckhardt, Wilh., aus Ulm.
  27. Elbert, Eduard, aus Leipzig.
  28. Feicke, Karl, aus Mühlberg.
  29. Fiedler, Karl, aus Apolda.
  30. Fischer, Joh. Gottfr., aus Hanau.
  31. Flegler, Fr., aus Darmstadt.
  32. Frantz, Ad., aus Eisenach.
  33. Frenkel, Fr. Bened., aus Lindenau.
  34. Gassmann, Aug., aus Weimar.
  35. Gau, Fr. Wilh., aus Leipzig.
  36. Gernet, Franz Xaver, aus Mainz.
  37. Goll, Casper, aus Bütingen.
  38. Grau, Ernst, aus Jena.
  39. Grohmann, Fr. Aug., aus Bautzen.
  40. Grünler, Wilh., aus Leipzig.
  41. Gühren, Bernhard, aus Weimar.
  42. Gühren, Franz, aus Weimar.
  43. Haase, Julius, aus Leutsch.
  44. Halffter, Karl, aus Leipzig.
  45. Hatzfeld, Hieron., aus Cassel.
  46. Hedrich, Fr. Gust., aus Leipzig.
  47. Hedrich, Wilh., aus Leipzig.
  48. Heine, Fr. Theodor, aus Stollberg.
  49. Heinemann, K. Fr., aus Grosszschocher.
  50. Heinlein, Chr. Heinr., aus Leipzig.
  51. Heinrichs, A. Ferd., aus Gumbinnen.
  52. Heipt, Joseph, aus Coblenz.
  53. Henker, David, aus Libertwolkwitz.
  54. Hentze, Ad. Eduard, aus Leipzig.
  55. Hermann, Chr. Ferd., aus Leipzig.
  56. Hetzer, Fr., aus Weimar.
  57. Hildebrand, Joh. Heinr., aus Arnstadt.
  58. Hille, J. Fr. Theodor, aus Breslau.
  59. Hilsenbeck, Louis, aus Stuttgart.
  60. Hoffmann, Jul., aus Liegnitz.
  61. Hoffmann, Theodor, aus Eisleben.
  62. Hoppe, K. Fr. Wilh., aus Küstrin.
  63. Jähnichen, J.G., aus Libertwolkwitz.
  64. Jähnichen, J. Aug., aus Probstheyda.
  65. Jancovius, Franz Moritz, aus Penig.
  66. Jauchtzer, Karl, aus Weimar.
  67. Jebens, J.G., aus Friedrichst. a.d. Eider.
  68. John, Fr. Anton, ais Leipzig.
  69. John, Traug. Ferd., aus Pirna.
  70. Kalbe, Anton, aus Weimar.
  71. Kistner, Theodor, aus Braunschweig.
  72. Kleining, Georg, aus Nürnberg.
  73. Klitzsch, Gotth. Ludw., aus Zwickau.
  74. Knoche, Karl, aus Halle.
  75. Knuske, J. Fr. Wilh., aus Berlin.
  76. Koch, Edm. Fr. Ignaz, aus Sorsum.
  77. Köhler, Gl. Heinr. Aug., aus Leipzig.
  78. Kötzscher, Gustav, aus Weimar.
  79. Konewitzka, Ludw., aus Augsburg.
  80. Kühn, Chr., aus Rudolstadt.
  81. Lanzenburg, Joh. Chr., aus Liebenau.
  82. Lehmann, Fr. Ferd., aus Berlin.
  83. Lehmann, Fr. Wilh., aus Leipzig.
  84. Lehmann, Joh. Gottl., aus Schönefeld.
  85. Lehmann, Robert, aus Leipzig.
  86. Leisebein, Herm. Rob., aus Leipzig.
  87. Lindner, Wilh. K. S., aus Wurzen.
  88. Linke, Franz, aus Merseburg.
  89. Ludewig, Aug., aus Weimar.
  90. Meissner, J. Gottfr., aus Dölitz.
  91. Metzner, Karl, aus Leipzig.
  92. Mohr, Theodor, aus Ehringsdorf.
  93. Mohrstädt, Karl Heinr., aus Eythra.
  94. Moritz, August, aus Merseburg.
  95. Müller, Heinrich, aus Schwerin.
  96. Müller, Theodor, aus Weimar.
  97. Müller, Joh. Gottl., aus Chemnitz.
  98. Noack, Wilh., aus Eutritzsch.
  99. Overbeck, L., aus Hannover.
  100. Pape, Friedrich, aus Leipzig.
  101. Pfeffer, K., aus Acken a.d. Elbe.
  102. Planer, Karl, aus Jena.
  103. Planer, Gottl. Wilh., aus Jena.
  104. Pohle, Chr. Theod., aus Dölitz.
  105. Ponikau, Wilh., aus Sellerhausen.
  106. Prosor, Jos. Ferd., aus Halle.
  107. Pulewka, Leop., aus Hohendorf.
  108. Ralle, Franz Otto, aus Lauchstädt.
  109. Reichmann, Chr., aus Weimar.
  110. Reimmann, Wilh., aus Halle.
  111. Reis, Friedrich, aus Rötha.
  112. Richter, Eduard, aus Grimma.
  113. Richter, Eduard, aus Leipzig.
  114. Ring, Friedrich, aus Jena.
  115. Röder, Wilhelm, aus Halle.
  116. Rödiger, Chr. Fr., aus Jena.
  117. Rohn, Karl, aus Blumroda.
  118. Rothe, Eduard, aus Leipzig.
  119. Ryssel, Albert, aus Weissenfels.
  120. Saal, Herm. Wilh., aus Lauchstädt.
  121. Schacht, Jacob, aus Sommerland.
  122. Schimpf, Julius, aus Beune.
  123. Schmidt, Wilh., aus Breslau.
  124. Schnell, Ferd., aus Leipzig.
  125. Schröder, Friedrich, aus Erfurt.
  126. Schürer, Heinrich, aus Schneeberg.
  127. Schütze, Emil, aus Leipzig.
  128. Seibold, Karl, aus Magdeburg.
  129. Seidler, Joh. Gottl., aus Nebra.
  130. Skrobeck, Oskar, aus Oberglogau.
  131. Starke, Herm., aus Grossenhain.
  132. Stein, Frd. Alex., aus Gumbinnen.
  133. Stendicke, Aug., aus Leipzig.
  134. Strohkirch, August, aus Halberstadt.
  135. Sturm, Aug. Ed., aus Leipzig.
  136. Sturm, Ludw. Franz, aus Leipzig.
  137. Thiele, Karl, aus Püchau.
  138. Treutler, Joh. Fr., aus Petersroda.
  139. Trömel, August, aus Rosswein.
  140. Trück, Chr., aus Jena.
  141. Umlauf, Karl, aus Magdala.
  142. Vogel, Gustav, aus Zeitz.
  143. Voigt, Chr. Gottl., aus Leipzig.
  144. Völker, Ludw., aus Leipzig.
  145. Wagner, Fr. Aug., aus Grimma.
  146. Wagner, Gottfr., aus Modelwitz.
  147. Wassermann, Joh. Sam., aus Erlangen.
  148. Weber, Ludw., aus Bremen.
  149. Weiss, Karl Aug., aus Zürich.
  150. Weitzel, Ed., aus Weimar.
  151. Wendt, Theodor, aus Leipzig.
  152. Wermann, Joh. Fr., aus Audenhayn.
  153. Werner, Karl Fr., aus Leipzig.
  154. Wersich, Heinr., aus Berlin.
  155. Weyhmann, Fr., aus Leipzig.
  156. Wilke, Joh. Chr., aus Bischofroda.
  157. Winkler, Anton, aus Gumbinnen.
  158. Winter, Joh. Chr., aus Regensburg.
  159. Winter, Joh. Chr., aus Sandersleben.
  160. Wittig, Fr. Aug., aus Marienberg.
  161. Wohlfarth, Karl, aus Leipzig.
  162. Wolf, Joh. Wilh., aus Leipzig.
  163. Wünsch, Gottlob, aus Naundorf.
  164. Wünscher, Chr., aus Weimar.
  165. Zimmermann, Heinr., aus Berlin.


  1. Genzsch & Heyse (ed.): Chronik 1833–1908. Genzsch & Heyse, Hamburg 1908, p. 29–30 and 65–69
  2. Halbey, Hans Adolf: Die Mitarbeiter bei Gebr. Klingspor. Twenty-page typescript. Klingspor Museum, Offenbach am Main (undated). Made from the Gebr. Klingspor typefoundry’s employment records in the possession of Karl-Hermann Klingspor’s family. I mention this source in the context of pre-WWI lists, but these records only start around the beginning of the twentieth century, and go through the 1950s.
  3. At the Deutsches Buch- und Schriftmuseum/Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Standort Leipzig, this broadsheet has the call number Bö-Arch. 97/14
  4. Friedrich Bauer: Chronik der Schriftgießereien in Deutschland und den deutschsprachigen Nachbarländern. Bearbeitet von Friedrich Bauer, Offenbach am Main 1928. Mit Ergänzungen und Nachträgen von Hans Reichardt. PDF file. Hans Reichardt, Frankfurt am Main 2011, p. 98–99 [link]