Josef Werndl

Josef Werndl (* 26. February 1831 in Steyr, upper Austria; † 29. April 1889) was a Austrian weapon producer.

Josef Werndl was born as a son of the weapon waffenindustriellen Leopold. After its training as if weapon-forge and first work experiences in Prague and Vienna undertook Werndl expanded study trips to England, Thuringia and to the factories of Remington and Colt in the USA. After its return he took over 1855 the paternal enterprise.

Josef Werndl began to change the 500 coworkers over counting factory to modern production engineering and developed together with his foreman Karl Holub the innovative Tabernakelverschluss for Hinterlader, with which he itself in the case of orders k.u.k. Army against the competitor Remington interspersed.

Armament makers grew rapidly on 6.000 coworkers and as a “Austrian armament makers company “(OEWG) into an AG were converted, whose general manager Werndl became. Production rose to approximately 8,000 rifles per week.

Far ahead, Josef Werndl for its workers for its time modern houses, schools and swimming pools built - building those the city Steyr, particularly the quarter military ditch, also today still coin/shape. It paid wages in above average height and supplied all employees and their member with free medical support.

Josef Werndl was fascinated by technological developments of its time and promoted the production of electricity from water power to also adjust in order for bad becoming situation concerning orders at the weapon market. The OEWG produced direct current generators as well as glowing and arc lamps. To the world exhibition Werndl Steyrs roads illuminated 1884 as the first city of Europe with electrical light, which induced also emperors Franz Josef to an attendance of the “bengalischen miracle”.

Who DL monument

co-operation with Holub and railway engineer Ferdinand of male ones took part in Austrian armament makers to one of the world-wide most important weapon producers, over 9 million produced weapons of different size between 1869 and 1911. With occasional over 140.000 persons employed the OEWG was largest armament makers of Europe.

In the spring 1889 Werndl at a pneumonia got sick, after he demonstrated his social vein after one of floodings frequent in Steyr, by participating personally in the clearing up work. Josef Werndl died to 29. April 1889 at the age of 59 years. The who DL monument in Steyr, production of the sculptor Viktor Tilgner, witnesses until today from its size.

From the OEWG became 1935 the Steyr Daimler Puch AG. Already starting from 1920 in Steyr car were built and after the Second World War began the production of tractors and truck. With Steyr male one continues the tradition of the weapon production.


  • Maximilian Narbeshuber, the pioneer of Steyr: Biographic novel around Josef Werndl; Publishing house Ennsthaler

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| | * Literature of and over Josef Werndl in the catalog of the DDB



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