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Why Hennebique failed in Germany

Strategies and Obstacles in the Introduction of a New Construction Technology

Medium: conference paper
Language(s): English
Conference: Third International Congress on Construction History, Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus, Germany , 20th-24th May 2009
Published in:
Year: 2009

In several countries, Fran├žois Hennebique and his local representatives stand at the beginning of reinforced concrete construction. Hennebiques's activities in Germany were first organized by the Martenstein & Josseaux construction company. In spite of massive problems with local building control, a number of regional construction companies realised Hennebique system constructions, among them Pommer in Leipzig, Thormann & Stiefel in Augsburg, Gebr. Rank in Munich and Eduard Zueblin in Strassburg. But, as in France itself, in Germany strong competitors opposed to the patent quests of Hennebique: Former Monier specialists Wayss & Freytag and Beton- und Monierbau had Hennebique's patents annulled in 1901. In spite, they initiated the publishing of structural and technical details. The business history of reinforced concrete demonstrates the possibilities and limits of technology transfer as well as the relation between national interests and international business.


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