Arthur Hartmann:
A father’s son, forging his own path.

Arthur Hartmann (1849-1931), the third of Paul Hartmann Senior's four sons, played a large role in the course of HARTMANN’s history and had a huge impact in the field of ear, nose and throat medicine.

The path to medicine

Wirtschaftsarchiv Baden-Württemberg, B46, F 266

When Arthur Wilhelm Hartmann was born in 1849 in Heidenheim, his father Paul was already a successful cotton mill entrepreneur. When Arthur became a young man, it looked as if he would follow in his father’s steps and first pursued mechanical engineer studies at the Polytechnic in Stuttgart. Arthur later studied medicine in Tübingen, but his keen interest in technology would later serve him well in his medical career.

Arthur interrupted his studies during the Franco-Prussian wars of 1870-71 to serve as a medical sergeant. His experiences left a mark on him that would influence his professional path as well as his commitment to social causes. However, the first effect of Arthur’s time in the service was to be felt at HARTMANN. Incensed by the lack of suitable dressing materials on the battlefield, Arthur convinced his father Paul Hartmann Sr. to produce absorbent cotton for dressings, and later on other bandages. With the first sterile wound dressing, Paul Hartmann Sr. together with the Scottish surgeon Sir Joseph Lister and the physician Victor von Bruns achieved a decisive breakthrough in medical history in 1874. To this day, this invention enables millions of people to receive safe wound care. At the same time, it formed one of the cornerstones of the company, whose portfolio has been constantly optimized and expanded.

In pursuit of modern solutions in medicine – standard to this day.

Arthur took a different path, not within his parents' business. After obtaining his medical license in Leipzig in 1873 and two more years as a military doctor, Arthur became an ear, nose and throat specialist. He began his practice in Vienna and worked closely with leading specialists of the time, and eventually settled in Berlin, opening a successful practice for otology.

Two medical instrument manufacturers were in the same street, which turned out to be fortuitous. Drawing on his knowledge in engineering and manual talent, Arthur worked with the two companies to innovate new instruments for use in ENT medicine. By 1926, 42 ENT instruments bore his name. His inventions include the ear funnel, nasal speculum, and ear tongs – and his “Akumeter” audiometer sealed his reputation as a pioneer of audiometry. To this day, the instruments are standard in ENT doctor's surgeries.

Outside the practice

In 1902, Arthur also began work as a university professor and in 1906, he became head physician of the otology department of Berlin’s newly opened Rudolf Virchow Hospital. He never stopped pursing his own studies or research, travelling to France, England and Austria to further his training and expand his treatments. Additionally, he passionately pursued sharing his findings with others through teaching and publications of books such as Diseases of the Ear and their Treatment (Die Krankheiten des Ohres und deren Behandlung).

A return home

In 1910, at the height of his career, he returned to his old home of Heidenheim to pursue another path to patient care. Spurred on by his wife’s hearing loss, he devoted more time to helping the hearing impaired. In Berlin, he had already established a reputation as the “founder of education for the hard of hearing” and had published a book on the topic which became the standard of the time. Today, the Special Education and Counseling Center for the Speech Impaired (Sonderpädagogische Bildungs- und Beratungszentrum) in Heidenheim bears Arthur Hartmann’s name.

The past builds the future

Arthur Hartmann brought the family name and company into the future, and he would go on to serve as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of PAUL HARTMANN AG. By merging his interests in technology and medicine, he opened new avenues in wound management. His social commitment to finding better solutions for those with medical challenges can still be felt at HARTMANN today not only in the company’s innovations, but in its responsibility to all members of its community near and far.