The end
of an era

A wake and national recognition for bicycle pioneer Friedrich Gottschalk


Friedrich Gottschalk dies on February 20, 1933. Aged 74, he can look back on an eventful life as a businessman, husband (he leaves behind his wife, Helene Martha) and one of the era’s greatest promoters of cycling. His political and social commitment to cycling associations helped him gain renown and respect everywhere. This is also evident when he is lying in state in Dresden, as members of the Wanderlust cycling association form a guard of honor for their honorary member.

Death notice for Friedrich Gottschalk – Dresdner Nachrichten 1933 (Stadtarchiv Dresden, 2.1.1 Ratsarchiv, A.II.244, fol. 14a)


“...He turned to mechanics at an early stage and in 1884 became self-employed, producing measuring tools. A diligent member of the then newly-founded cycling associations, he quickly recognized that cycling had a great future and began producing cycle components in a plant in Dresden-Neustadt, which soon had to be extended after the operation switched to producing only bicycle hubs.  Gottschalk’s invention of the Rotax freewheel hub was of major importance. A proposed expansion of the operation in 1904 was soon no longer sufficient, and a new, integrated plant was erected on Kanonenstraße. Throughout, Gottschalk not only dedicated himself to the development of cycling, he also promoted it energetically through generous contributions to the sports associations, many of which made him an honorary member. (...) A wealth of medals and decorations were bestowed on Gottschalk. However, greater than all of these external honors is the esteem in which he is held by his compatriots for his industrious life, dedicated to the service of the general public.”

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