View single post by Mike Kearns
 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2022 11:26 pm
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Mike Kearns

Joined: Fri Nov 24th, 2006

Fredrik Ljunstrom was born in 1875 in Stockholm, Sweden to cartographer Jonas Patrik and Amalia Ljungstrom.
Educated at Östra Real school, he attended the Royal Institue of Technology from where he was subsequently conferred an Honorary Doctorate in 1944. Technical innovativity was notably initiated in the workshops of his father in Ostermalm in Stockholm, that cooperated among others with the early manufactory of Lars Magnus Ericsson, the Alexander Graham Bell of Sweden. Of importance to his significant self-educated studies was also the tutorship in physics by Salomon August Andree, as was the early mentorship of Alfred Nobel, best known for having bequeathed his fortune to establish the Nobel Prize, though he also made several important contributions to science, holding 355 patents in his lifetime. Alfred Nobel was aged 61 when he met Fredrik and his brother Birger Ljungström, 19 and 22 years old. Nobel, who didn't have any children of his own, would enthusiastically collaborate in the brothers' early endeavours. Nobel and the brothers soon became good friends, discussing the world's problems and existential questions of the time, as a certain "father-and-son-like relation" emerged. 60 years later, when recalling their talks and time spent together, Fredrik Ljungström commended Nobel's capacity to "discuss the most complex questions with the unexperienced youngsters yet on equal terms", and that "his critical eye to the contemporary issues was extraordinarily bright"; concluding that "the blood runs warm in my old veins when I think of him."  From Wikipedia:
Considered one of the foremost inventors of Sweden, Fredrik Ljungström accounted for hundreds of technical patents alone and in collaboration with his brother Birger Ljungström (1872–1948): from early bicycling free wheeling hubs techniques and mechanical automatic transmissions for vehicles, to steam turbines, air preheaters, and circular arc hulls for sailing boats. He co-founded companies such as The New Cycle Company, Ljungström Steam Turbine Co. and Ljungström Swedish Turbine Manufacturing Co. (STAL), and associated with other industrialists such as Alfred Nobel, Helge Palmcrantz, Gustaf de Laval, Curt Nicolin, and Gustaf Dalén. As innovative as his ideas were in function, they also often turned out in terms of unconventional external design, such as his steam turbine locomotives and sailboats.

During the resource scarcity of World War II, Fredrik Ljungström's innovative technology for oil shale underground gasification by electrical energy, called the Ljungström method, provided a strategical impact for the Swedish Armed Forces.[3] In addition, Ljungström's technology contributed to the first Swedish jet engine, torpedoes, and more.

With Fredrik Ljungström's air preheater implemented in a large number of modern power stations around the world until this day with total attributed worldwide fuel savings estimated to 4,960,000,000 tons of oil, "few inventions have been as successful in saving fuel as the Ljungström Air Preheater". In 1995, the Ljungström air preheater was distinguished as the 44th International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Fredrik Ljungström died in 1964 on Lidingo, Sweden and was buried at Norra Cemetary, Stockholm.

A minor footnote is that he also invented and designed an electric safety fan that would be in production for almost thirty years, used, admired and enjoyed all over the world...

Last edited on Mon Jan 24th, 2022 06:56 am by Mike Kearns