Theodor von Cramer-Klett (1817–84)

Theodor von Cramer-Klett (born Theodor Cramer) was born in Vienna and initially worked in his father’s soap business in that city. Later he served an apprenticeship in banking and trading with the Lümel Company in Prague, and then travelled in France and Italy. In 1843 he acquired the Bäumier publishing company and was involved with publishing till 1849.

In 1847 he married the daughter of Johann Friedrich Klett (1778-1847) who had been involved in the toy trade in Nürnberg, before opening a textile factory in the city in 1838. Later, in the same building he established a mechanical engineering company with James Ernest Earnshaw (1808-1870) and two other Englishmen. Their company made steam engines and boilers, and from 1841 specialised in railway equipment.

Shortly after Cramer married Klett died and took over the engineering business, changing his name to Cremer-Klett. He made a potential rival Johann Ludwig Werder (1808-85) its technical director. The business prospered and in 1865 became a public company which from 1867 was known as Maschinenbau-Actiengesellschaft Nürnberg. The company made railway carriages, guns and bridges including the Mainz South (railway) Bridge (1860-62) and the Großhesseloher Bridge on the railway from Munich to Holzkirchen, opened in 1857. They were also responsible for several outstanding iron and glass structures, following the pattern of the Crystal Palace in London, Würzberg station hall 1856; the Schrannenhalle (Grain market) at Munich (1851-52) and the conservatory at the Residenz in Munich (1853). He was also active in banking and insurance and was an enthusiastic advocate of the Gewerbemuseum (trade museum) in Nürnberg, whose trust was established in 1860.

After his death his company merged in 1898 with Maschinenfabrik Augsburg AG, founded in 1840, to form Machinenenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg (MAN). His statue stands outside the MAN plant in Nürnberg.