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Carl von Linde, 1842–1934


CARL VON LINDE, the centenary of whose birth falls on June 11, and whose work on refrigeration is the subject of an article by Mr. J. H. Awbery elsewhere in this issue (p. 630), was one of the outstanding German engineers of his time. A lecturer of distinction, he was also a successful inventor, a sound constructor, and an indefatigable investigator. Born at Bernsdorf, Oberfranken, Bavaria, he was the son of a pastor, being the third child in a family of nine. His early training had much to do with his success, and in one of his writings he pays a touching tribute to his mother. From school at Kempen he was able to enter Zurich Polytechnic and there came under the influence of the remarkable trio Zeuner, Reuleaux and Clausius. The lectures of Clausius on heat greatly influenced him. From Zurich he entered Borsig's locomotive works at Berlin, and then joined Krauss's new works at Munich. In 1867 he drove Krauss's first locomotive to the World Exhibition at Paris. Soon after this he became an assistant professor at Munich Technical High School, and it was there that he first turned his attention to refrigeration, publishing in 1871 a paper on “Improved Ice- and Refrigerating Machines”. The first machines built to his designs were constructed at the famous Maschinenfabrik-Augsburg, which afterwards built the first Diesel engines and has recently been in the news. On April 5, 1876, he took out his patent for an ammonia machine. His work proved so valuable to the brewing industries that in 1879 he resigned his professorship and founded at Wiesbaden the Gesellschaft fiir Lindes Eismachinen. A.-G., a concern dealing with the planning and design of refrigerating installations.

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Carl von Linde, 1842–1934. Nature 149, 634 (1942).

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