Joh. Springer’s Erben – gunmaking tradition since 1836
Our history of gunmaking goes back to the 1830s. The gunsmith Mathias Nowotny from Königgrätz settled in Vienna and in 1836 he was granted permission to operate as a gunsmith.
In 1836 he received the permission to practice his profession. He became succesful very quickly and was able to set up a branch at Stock-im-Eisen-Platz 5, in the 1st district in addition to the workshop in Josefstadt.
Johann Springer immigrated from Leutschach in Upper Hungary. He came to Vienna as a master engraver. In addition to engraving, he learned gunsmithing in Vienna. Johann Springer worked about 15 years for Mathias Nowotny, until his superior committed suicide in 1856. Receiving the fullest confidence of his deceised employer, Nowotny’s widow sold him the business after her husband’s death.
In 1857 Johann Springer married Katharina Nowotny, the sister of Mathias Nowotny. He took over the company and changed the company’s name to “Johann Springer, vorm. Mathias Nowotny” in the same year. From that time he was granted the permission to continue producing rifles by the authorities.
Johann Springer specialized in the production of luxury hunting rifles and the superiority of his craftmanship led him to win several noteworthy medals at trade exhibitions.
The Austrian Emperor Franz Josef was one of his regular customers and in 1872 he was awarded the highest honor as purveyor of the imperial court and chamber.
Johann Springer passed away in 1875 and his widow successfully managed the company. A very demanding task because she had to care about her five children as well.
Their two sons Rudolf and Gustav Springer were trained at the well-known British gunmaker Brandlin in Birmingham, took over the company in the year 1888 and also changed the company name to what it is still known as today: “Johann Springer’s Erben” (the heirs of Johann Springer).