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The Ganz (Ganz vállalatok, "Ganz companies") electric works in Budapestmarker is probably best known for the manufacture of tramcars, but was also a pioneer in the application of three-phase alternating current to electric railways. Ganz also made / makes: ships (Ganz Danubius), bridge steel structures (Ganz Acélszerkezet), high voltage equipment (Ganz Transelektro). Notable engineers employed by Ganz in the field were Kálmán Kandó and Ottó Bláthy. The company is named after Ábrahám Ganz. In 2006, the power transmission and distribution sectors of Ganz Transelektro were acquired by Crompton Greaves, but still doing business under the Ganz brand name, while the unit dealing with electric traction (propulsion and control systems for electric vehicles) was acquired by Škoda Holding and is now Ganz-Škoda Electric Ltd.


Before 1919, the company built ocean liners, dreadnought type battleship and submarines, power plants, too.

The company was founded by Abraham Ganz in 1844. He created his work with so reputation that he has established his own iron foundry in Buda. On this base there has developed the firm-group which companies assist continuously the development of the Hungarian Machinery Industry.

At the end of the 19th century, the development and production of the Ganz and Partner Iron Mill and Machine Factory (hereinafter referred to as Ganz Works) had tremendous expansion of alternating-current energy transfer.

The company's general manager recognizing significance of electronic engineering András Mechwart (1853-1942) founded the Department of Electronic Engineering headed by Károly Zipernowsky (1860-1939). Engineers Miksa Déri (1854-1938) and Ottó Bláthy (1860-1939) also worked at the department producing direct-current machines and arc lamps.

In cooperation, Zipernovsky, Déri and Bláthy constructed and patented the transformer (see Picture 2). It is noteworthy, that the name "transformer" was created by Ottó Titusz Bláthy.

Besides gear ratio based on ratio of number of turns, in the patents of transformer (protected by two patents) the inventors generated two basic principles: they demanded the parallel connection of consumers and feeds on primary and secondary sides of the transformer that was not used generally until 1885. Additionally, they described the closed armature as essential constructional part of the transformer. Both factors assisted the stabilization of tension and introduction of standard voltage. Emphasizing the necessity of parallel connection made construction of energy systems possible and their economic investments.

It is noteworthy that the Ganz Works built the first transformers using iron cover of enameled mild iron wire, and started to use laminated core of today at the end of 1885.

Following introduction of transformer, the Ganz Works changed over to production of alternating-current equipments successfully. (For instance, Rome's electric supply was resolved by hydroelectric plant and energy transfer of long distance.)


Eraly Ganz turbogenerators in a power plant for electric railways, 1906

Besides invention of transformer, three engineers had significant inventions, and made a lot for electronic engineering during their lives. Here we mention the major inventions. Károly Zipernowsky participated in construction of 60 power stations; he acted as the first professor of electric engineering of the Budapest University of Technology, and Economics (hereinafter referred to as BMGE).

Miksa Déri developed the repulsion motor for elevators of buildings with alternating current. He also participated in construction of Vienna's electric supply.

Whole his life, Ottó Titusz Bláthy worked at the Ganz Works. His basic job was the construction and patenting of induction flow meter of 1889 used today. (See Picture 3.) He invented the Turbogenerator in 1901. In the 1930s, he initiated the Hungarian production of turbogenerator known worldwide.

Invention of Serbian Nikola Tesla, the short circuit rotary-field motor (induction motor) had significant importance in the filed of alternating current. He patented it in the USA (1888), and he remembered that his idea had born during his activity in Budapest (1881-82).

Kálmán Kandó was the first who recognised that an electric train system can only be successful if it can use the electricity from public networks. After realising that, he also provided the means to build such a rail network by inventing a rotary phase converter suitable for locomotive usage. He developed high-voltage three phase alternating current motors and generators for electric locomotives; he is known as "the father of the electric train".

Internal combustion engines and vehicles

Ganz Bus , made in 1908
Ganz Bus , Budapest 1915

Beginning of gas engine manufacturing is linked to the names of Bánki and Csonka in our Company in 1889.

1889 the first four-stroke gas engine was built by the Ganz factory

1893 the manufacture of the paraffin- and petrol-fuelled engine with carburettor

1898 the start of the manufacture of the engines with the Bánki water injection system

1908 the introduction of a new petrol engine type, the series Am

1913 the manufacture of the Büssing petrol engines for truck vehicles

1916 the manufacture of petrol engines, type Fiat

1920 the usage of petrol engines for suction gas engine operation

1924 Mr. György JENDRASSIK started his engine development activity

1928 there was finished the first railway Diesel engine according to the plans of Ganz-Jendrassik

1929 the first export delivery of a railway engine according to the System of Ganz-Jendrassik

1934 there was an engine reliability World Competition in the USSR where the Ganz engine achieved the best consumption in its category

1944 the first application of the engine type XII JV 170/240 in the motor-train set

1953 modernization of the Diesel engines System Ganz-Jendrassik type

1959 the union of the Ganz factory and the MÁVAG company, establishing of the Ganz-MÁVAG


The Ganz Works identified the significance of induction motor and commissioned Kálmán Kandó (1869-1931) to develop it. After construction of different types, Kálmán Kandó initiated the development of railway electric traction with induction motor of alternating current by the Ganz Works. The Ganz Works won the tender of electrification of railway of Valtellina Railways in 1897. Under the management and on the base of plans of Kálmán Kandó, three phase electric traction (two upper wires + rails) of feed 3 kV and 15 Hz - produced by a different power station - was realized for thirty years from 1902.

After the World War 1, in the frames of the Ganz Works, Kálmán Kandó constructed one-phase railway electric system of 16 kV and 50 Hz incipient all over the world. Its main attribute was the feed by normal network, so additional power station became unnecessary. Consequently, Hungarian electric traction could be formed according to the country's energy management. Kálmán Kandó adapted the speed-torque curve to electric traction through changing the phase number and pole number. Kálmán Kandó built phase shifter in the locomotives forming speed levels.

Because of early death of Kálmán Kandó, László Verebély continued the work for the Hungarian Railways (MÁV). Moreover, he managed the construction of a nationwide power station (Bánhida) supplying as the railways as Budapest with electric power by transmission line of 110 kV. He elaborated the first plans of the nationwide cooperation of electric energy. In the 1930s he organized the Department of Electric Stations and Railways of the BMGE, so he became a professor of a significant branch of heavy current engineering.

In 1959 Ganz merged with the MÁVAG company and was renamed Ganz-MÁVAG.


As Ganz Danubius, the company became involved in shipbuilding before, and during, World War I. Ganz was responsible for building the dreadnought Szent Istvan,supplied the machinery for the cruiser Novara, and built U-boats at its shipyard in Budapestmarker, for final assembly at Fiumemarker. Several U-Boats of the U-27 class were completed, and a number of others were laid down, remaining incomplete at the war's end. The company built some ocean liners too.


The world's first turboprop jet was the Jendrassik Cs-1 designed by the Hungarian mechanical engineer György Jendrassik. It was produced and tested in the Ganz factory in Budapest between 1939 and 1942. It was planned to fit to the Varga RMI-1 X/H twin-engined reconnaissance bomber designed by László Varga in 1940, but the program was cancelled. Jendrassik had also designed a small-scale 75 kW turboprop in 1937.

Rail Rolling Stock

In 1982 - 1983 Ganz-Mávag supplied an order for electric multiple units to New Zealand Railways Corporation for Wellington suburban services. The order was made in 1979, and was for 44 powered units and 44 trailer units, see NZR EM class.

A Tranz Metro EM class Ganz-Mávag unit in service in the Hutt Valley, New Zealand

A series V63 Ganz-Mávag electric locomotive of Hungarian State Railways

In 1976 Ganz-Mávag supplied ten (standard gauge) 3-car diesel trainset to the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE), designated as Class AA-91 and four (metric gauge) 4-car trainsets, designated as Class A-6451. In 1981-82 Ganz-Mávag supplied to OSE 11 B-B diesel-hydraulic DHM7-9 locomotives, designated as class A-251. Finally, in 1983, OSE bought eleven 3-car metric gauge trainsets, designated as Class A-6461. All these locomotives and trainsets have been withdrawn with the exception of one standard and one metric gauge trainset.


  1. Ganz is now CG Retrieved 2009-11-28.
  2. Ganz-Škoda Electric Ltd.
  5. Sieche article on KuK U-Boats

External links

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