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The Gathmann Inventors

From 1860 through 1980, the world has been forever changed by a single family of inventors.

Though their names are not known by many, their inventions are known by all.

These inventors, all of the same family, have forever changed the world. They modernized the way in which war was fought. They perfected the steel industry. Developed our airplanes, oil refineries, typewriters, milling machines, and other, countless things.

They are all Gathmanns.

In 1864, Louis Gathmann came to the United States from Prussia. Louis was a brilliant inventor and engineer, who designed anything he became interested in. Louis's inventions were for weapons, machines, early airplanes, telescopes, and much more. Known as the inventor of the Big Berthas, Louis was once the most well known expert in explosives. His mansions, factories, and weapons forever changed the face of the earth. By the time Louis died in 1917, he had become known well enough so that his death was mentioned in almost every newspaper in the world.

Emil Gathmann was a son of Louis. Once the head of Bethlehem Steel's Naval Ordnance Section, Emil spent a lot of his early life as an inventor developing weapons. Emil became interested in the production of steel, and spent most of his life from the early 1900's until his death in late 1949 perfecting the ingot phase of steel production. His patents, ideas, and methods are still used to date in the production of steel all over the globe. Emil's death was so important, that the New York Times ran a whole column sized article on his passing.

Otto Gathmann was a son of Louis. After Louis's death, Otto was offered a job as a engineer at the L.C. Smith Typewriter Company, in Syracuse, NY. Otto then moved from Chicago to Syracuse so that he could take the job, and worked as the head engineer in charge of the L.C. Smith factory up through at least the 1950's. Otto's patents for different typewriter parts helped him become known in the industry which helped pave the way for computers, decades later.

Paul Gathmann was a son of Louis, and had spent a great deal designing different airplane parts in the 30's-40's.

Mark Gathmann was the son of Emil Gathmann. A well known engineer for US Steel, Mark took Emil's work and added his own twist. The ingot mold hot tops designed by Mark were second to none (still are for that matter).

Sadly, very few people have ever heard of the Gathmanns mentioned above. Despite the fact that Louis and Emil were mentioned in text books, and the Who's Who books up through the late 1960's.

So, resulting from almost 10 years of research conducted by Jim Gathmann (Louis Gathmann's great great grandson), this website has been created. To educate, and entertain anyone and everyone with interests associated with the Gathmann Inventors. Such interests may include: history, weapons, the Spanish-American War, The Great War, the steel industry, engineering, Baltimore history, Chicago history, Syracuse history, American, Prussian, and British History, and so on.

Hopefully, depending on how much farther this research goes, Jim Gathmann will write a book on the Gathmann inventors. With never before seen photographs, detailed descriptions of their inventions, drawings and diagrams from patents, a more complete listing of Gathmann patents, everything on this site, plus a whole lot more.


See the Message Board on the Gathmann Inventors

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Here is a page covering rumors about the Gathmanns

Here is a small, brief list of sources used to create this website

Here is the Links Page

Please Help With This Website & Research Project

A Special Note To Museums- IMPORTANT.

An other interest of mine.... genealogy!


Please fell free to e-mail me at any time.


This Website is ALWAYS under construction!

Note: Throughout this website, there are some scanned in copies of old newspaper articles. Some text on these articles is either missing, or unreadable. I have tried to type up each article hear. While doing so, I have come across such impurities, and have replaced missing text with a "____".

This website is copyrighted 1996-2002 by Jim Gathmann. The web master (Jim Gathmann) can be reached by e-mail at: All information here is as accurate as possible. Any copyrighted, patented, trade marked, or restricted information on this site os copyrighted, patented, or trademarked by their respective owners and not me. Any and all photographs on this site may be in what is referred to as the public domain- this may or may not include all of the newspaper articles. Special thanks to all Gathmann family members world wide who have had interest in this work, the US Navy, US Army, the Antique Telescope Society, the Baltimore Museum of Industry, and many others! This notice applies to the entire website- not just this page.

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