Evans Evans (1765 – 1844)

In the early nineteenth century, Evan Evans was responsible for transferring the technologies of cotton spinning from Britain to the state of Saxony, which eventually became one of the most industrially diversified regions of Germany. Evans was famous as an industrialist in his adopted country but is hardly known in his homeland.

He was born in the Welsh countryside at Llanelltyd in Snowdonia. As a young man he went to the textile city of Manchester where he learned about cotton spinning and mechanical engineering. He met Carl Friedrich Bernhard, who came from Bavaria to Manchester to develop business interests. Bernhard and his brother owned a cotton spinning mill at Harthau, now part of the city of Chemnitz. They invited Evans to bring his expertise to Saxony. He redesigned and mechanised their spinning operation and the mill became one of the largest in the world. He built more mills for the Bernhard brothers nearby.

Evans started his own mechanical engineering firm in Saxony and eventually had several works where he built equipment for new textile mills for different clients. He had engineering works at Dittersdorf from 1807 and Geyer from 1809. These made equipment with wood, brass and iron. In 1812, he bought an ironworks. He also built his own cotton spinning factory at Siebenhöfen near Geyer, which became the largest factory in Saxony. His son Eli Evans continued the business after his death. He has a large memorial stone in the churchyard at Geyer.