Growing up in Aussig and Vienna


Hermann Papst was born August, 13 1902 as the oldest son of Hugo Oswald Papst (1870-1942) and his wife Else, (nat. Fischer, 1870-1951). They live in Aussig where Hugo Papst works as an accounting clerk and general manager in a mechanic weaving mill. His family has its roots in traditional craftsmanship, coming from Lößnitz, a city in the Erzgebirge, to the town Aussig that is part of Austria then, with a harbour at the upper Elbriver.

His twin-brothers Fritz and Hans

Two years after Hermann is born, his mother gives birth to his twin- brothers, Fritz and Hans. Hans is trained as a mechanic and starts working for the company “Gebrüder Heinemann” in St. Georgen.

At the age of only 20 he passes away due to an appendix perforation, caused by being fed with cherries without removing their stones at the traditional “Säcklestrecken” at a baptism.

Fritz completes his apprenticeship as a cook. For the last ten years of his life, until his death in 1966, he runs the production plant of his brother’s company Papst-Motoren GmbH & Co KG in Herbolzheim.

His support is very important for Hermann Papst.

Hugo and Else Papst with theire sons Hermann (right), Fritz and Hans in 1916

Hugo and Else Papst with theire sons Hermann (right), Fritz and Hans in 1916

Moving to Vienna

In 1910 -Hermann Papst is just 8 years old- the weaving mill where his father has achieved the rank of an authorized representative, has to declare bankruptcy. Hugo Papst has to look for a new job and is offered a position as general manager in Vienna.

During this time Vienna is a metropolis that attracts more and more people, and is growing incredibly fast.

Hermann discovers his fascination with science and engineering very early. As a five year old boy he buys a magnet with his pocket money and starts experimenting which metals are magnetic and which ones are not.

After completing the obligatory “Volksschule” he continues his education at a secondary school, the “Grinzinger Realschule” (middle school). During his final year in that school, he designs a morse telegraph.

As the radio becomes popular, shortly before the beginning of the First World War, he builds a radio receiver in 1914.

Hermann Papst (right) with his parents and brothers at the age of twenty

Hermann Papst (right) with his parents and brothers at the age of twenty

First inventions while studying at the WTG

Hermann Papst starts studying at the “Wiener Technologisches Gewerbemuseum” in 1916. He joins the department of Electrical Engineering and completes his studies, consisting of theoretical lessons and practical exercises, within five years.

Technologisches Gewerbemuseum in Vienna

At the age of 17 he uses his free time during a flue imposed time off, to design an electrical pendulum clock which he builds thereafter within three weeks in the workshop of his school.
For that clock he files and receives his first patent.

Three years later together with one of his friends he builds a moped. Which employs a roller soring suspension invented by him. The moped is admitted to be used on public roads in traffic, it uses an adjustable surface car burator in those days a spectacular solution.
No doubt: If someone else hadn’t already tested a comparable moped construction before (most likely without him knowing), he would have been the inventor of the moped.

Hermann Papst's moped construction in 1923