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Zakłady Budowy Maszyn i Aparatury im. Ludwik Zieleniewski

Ludwik Zieleniewski

The factory, employing 50 people, was equipped with the first steam boiler in Krakow and the first steam engine. In 1859 the factory was enriched with the first iron foundry in Galicia with a model shop and a metal melting furnace, it was run for several years by Ludwik's son, Michał. In 1860, Zieleniewski's plant produced the first steam boiler for the cadet corps in Łobzów, and in the same year it began operating at the Kasa Chorych plant. During Poles fights with Russia - the January Uprising 1863, the plants produced cannons for the insurgents.


Ludwik Zieleniewski dies in 1885, the new owners of the factory are his carefully prepared, educated and experienced sons Leon and Edmund .

Leon Zieleniewski
Edmund Zieleniewski

Krakow city authorities approve plans to build a new plant in different location at Krowoderska street, equipped with a steam engine with a capacity of 50 HP. In 1894, the facotry took out a loan from Bank Hipoteczny in the amount of PLN 30 thousand. Rhenish zlotys, which enables production to be re-profiled. In the same year, the plant won a gold medal at the national exhibition in Lviv for water supply devices and steam engines. In the years 1890–1900, about 50 percent of the factory production value was made by goods delivered to railroads.

In 1905, the production value increased rapidly, reaching nearly CZK 1.5 million. "Zieleniewski" builds water stations for the Balkan railways, structures of the Lviv railway station, and a number of large bridge constructions. The following year, the factory, operating untill now as a family company, was transformed into a joint-stock company with a capital of 1.5 million crowns. Leon Zieleniewski becomes the President of the Supervisory Board, and his brother Edmund becomes the managing director. A joint-stock company obtains loans from banks in Vienna, mainly from Credit-Anstalt.

In 1907, construction began on a large modern factory in Grzegórzki, with a railway siding and access to the Vistula River.

The first factory in Krakow, and one of the first in Poland, which is still operating continuously today, was founded two hundred years ago by Antoni Zieleniewski (1770-1831). Antoni was a Warsaw blacksmith who moved to Kraków and started working in Paweł Nowakowski's forge (most likely around today's Dominikański Square). In 1804, after the death of the owner, he married the principal's widow and took over the forge.

Two years later, "in the presence of the commissar of the City Hall and all the guild brothers," Antoni obtained his master's degree in blacksmithing by making a pole, axle and spring for a carriage. These are the first known products of the Zieleniewski family. After the death of Antoni Zieleniewski, the plant was taken over by his son, Ludwik Zieleniewski (1819-1885).

In 1846, the Zieleniewski's forge, which repaired and manufactured carriages, began preparations for the production of agricultural machinery. The following year, Ludwik received the first orders for agricultural machinery.


In 1851, with the help of a loan from the Agricultural and Economic Society of Count Adam Potocki from Krzeszowice, he has comissoned a residential palace and a factory building at st. Mark 31.

Fabryka Zieleniewskiego w Krakowie

Two years later, the joint-stock company "Zieleniewski" received orders for the construction of the third bridge over the Vistula River in Krakow, and the shipyard "Zieleniewski" handed over to the Austrian police and border guards the "Melsztyn" side-wheeled ship, armed with a 75 mm gun. This ship was later used by the Polish army in the Polish-Bolshevik war in 1920. "Melsztyn" was submerged and mined twice, yet it continued to float until 1970.

Statek "Melsztyn" na Wiśle w Krakowie

In 1912, the construction of a foundry, a railway siding and a river shipyard on the Vistula River for the production of dredgers and steamboats was started. Three steamboats are built: "Tyniec", "Wanda" and "Copernicus". In the same time the Zieleniewski factory are renovating the roof truss of the Wawel Royal Castle, bought from the Austrian hands.

In 1913, the joint-stock company "Zieleniewski" buys the Machine Factory of Prince Lubomirski in Lviv, and conducts a merger with the First Galician Society for the Construction of Wagons and Machines in Sanok. The SAL Zieleniewski plant became the first Austrian multi-plant enterprise of the group type under the partition. In 1913, the Zieleniewski Concern starts the production of "Elzeta" two-stroke engines, designed by Edmund Zieleniewski. In 1914, the bodies of the victims of the attack in Sarajevo, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophia, were transported to Vienna in a refrigerator wagon manufactured by the company "L. Zieleniewski ".

1915 is the year of compulsory military management in the Concern, most of the factory staff are mobilized or evacuated from the city. The Krakow factory repairs artillery equipment and military cars, and cooperates with the Czech steelworks "Vitkowice" in the production of grenade launchers. 1918, the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy, the independent Polish state is reborn. The head of the Trade and Industry Section of the Polish Liquidation Commission, Edmund Paweł Zieleniewski jr., Takes over the fort on Kościuszko Mound from the capitulating Austrian army.

The Zieleniewski factory employs 500 workers. The factory in Grzegórzki becomes the most important plant of the Concern. Edmund Zieleniewski, the managing director of the Concern, dies the following year.

In 1919, the Concern debuts on the stock exchange. In 1920, the Concern received government orders for the delivery of eight thousand freight cars and two thousand passenger cars in the years 1921–1928. In 1921, the long-time president of the Council of Governors, Leon Zieleniewski, dies. In 1922, on the initiative of Antoni Lewalski, the Concern took over the "Wagon" factory, which was being built in Ostrów Wielkopolski. The following year, an agreement is concluded with the German-owned Huta Pokój (Friedenshutte). This steel plant becomes the owner of the majority of the L. Zieleniewski Concern. In 1924, the Concern concludes an agreement with the London-based company "Babcock and Wilcox" for licensed production in a boiler equipment factory in Kraków. In the years 1924–1930, Edmund Paweł Zieleniewski was the administrative director of the Kraków factory. At the W. Fitzner plant in Siemianowice, Jan Zieleniewski, son of Edmund senior, is takes over the director post.  

Tabliczka znamionowa mostu na Wiśle w Krakowie

In 1926, the company donated the first of the planned series of monitor ships to the Polish Navy, built in Grzegórzki in Kraków. The ship had 70.3 tons of displacement and was armed with a 100 mm howitzer and two 75 mm guns. Two years later, there is a merger with the factories in Siemianowice, Sosnowiec and Dąbrowa Górnicza (SA Budowy Kotłów i Maszyn W. Fitzner and K. Gamper). Krakow is the seat of the Main Board of the Concern. Edmund Zieleniewski, the former deputy director of the Krakow plant, becomes the managing director. The main mechanic of the wagon factory in Sanok is Mieczysław Zieleniewski, son of Leon.

Zjednoczone Fabryki Maszyn Kotłów i Wagonów L. Zieleniewski, Fitzner Gamper w Krakowie
Zjednoczone Fabryki Maszyn Kotłów i Wagonów L. Zieleniewski, Fitzner Gamper w Krakowie

In 1939, after the occupation of Krakow by the German army, "Zieleniewski" was included among the companies producing for the German arms industry. Conspiratorial activity begins in the factory, consisting in supplying the underground structures with some illegally produced weapons. In 1945, on January 15, the Germans shot 79 people in Dąbie, including several employees of Zieleniewski.


After the entry of the Red Army, on January 18, the reconstruction of the plant begins. In 1947 on June 21, the factory becomes state property. The operation is carried out by the Main Commission for the Nationalization of Enterprises. The annual production plan was 119 percent complete.

In 1951, staff problems were mounting in connection with the construction of Nowa Huta. A year later, the plants receive the name of Stanisław Szadkowski, who was shot by the Germans in 1942, a Kraków activist of the Communist Party of Poland and the Polish Workers' Party, who, at the age of 25 in 1920, worked for two weeks at "Zieleniewski". Zakłady "Szadkowski" is subordinated to the Union of Heavy Machines Construction ZEMAK in Warsaw. In 1955, the plants start exporting. In 1959, the plants were honored with the Passage Banner of the Metalworkers' Union, they began competing for the title of the Socialist Labor Brigade. In 1960, the program for the expansion and modernization of "Szadkowski" was adopted, the plant has a social house, a mother and child home, an apartment block, a sports club pavilion and a holiday home in Zawoja. In 1964, "Szadkowski" joined the Union of the Chemical Equipment Construction Industry "Chemak" in Warsaw. In 1970, the plants employ a record number of workers, around 2,000. In 1978, the Company Museum is established. In 1981, a plebiscite was held, on the initiative of Wiktor Zieleniewski - son of Edmund Jr., the crew speaks in favor of reinstating the name Zieleniewski in the company's title.

In 1990, the name of Ludwik Zieleniewski was restored to the company. In 1996, the 70-year-old Kraków-based company "Wolfram" buys the foundry from "Zieleniewski". Two years later, some of the factory's assets are sold, incl. 4.8 ha of land is purchased by the company "Pergranso" - the owner of the Leclerc supermarket chain. In 2000, Narodowy Fundusz Inwestycyjny PIAST SA sells "Wolfram" a strategic block of 60 percent of "Zieleniewski" shares. In 2004, Zakłady Budowy Maszyn i Aparatury im. Ludwik Zieleniewski is celebrating its 200th anniversary as the oldest factory in Kraków.

In 2008, Zakłady Budowy Maszyn i Aparatury is finally moved from Kraków to Niepołomice, to the site of the former tannery.

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