S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Halder, Mr Albert Hubert (civil engineering)

Born: 9 October 1855, Biezkofen, Wuerttenberg, Germany.
Died: 25 May 1901, London, United Kingdom.

Albert Hubert Halder, civil engineer and architect, was educated in a technical high school in Stuttgart, Germany. He continued his studies at polytechnic schools in Vienna, Strasbourg and Stuttgart, passing the state examination in the latter city in 1875. During the next few years he worked for the German state railroads, served a year as an engineer in the German army, and started a private practice in Stuttgart.

Halder came to southern Africa in about 1880 and practiced as an architect in Pietermaritzburg. In 1886 he moved his practice to Barberton, just two years after the town was proclaimed following the discovery of gold there. That same year he served as government architect in the town and was consulted in that capacity by the board of the Barberton Hospital to design a new hospital building. The building was opened in August the next year. Also during 1886 he offered his services as chief inspector for the construction of a proposed railway line in the Transvaal. By December 1886 he was a partner in the firm R.A. Lavertine & A.H. Halder, architects and surveyors, who drew up plans for a new Dutch Reformed church in Barberton. In 1888 he held an appointment as claims inspector in the Barberton area and in December that year was instructed by the Minister of Mines of the South African Republic (Transvaal) to collect minerals from mines in the region for display at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. He was also a justice of the peace for the De Kaap goldfields at this time.

Halder was a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a member of the short-lived Barberton Association of Civil Engineers (1887-1888?). In August 1888 he became a corresponding member of the Imperial Institute of Civil Engineers and Architects of Vienna. It seems that he moved to the Witwatersrand around the beginning of 1889. He went on a visit to Europe that same year to attract investments into the Witwatersrand goldfields, visiting Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, the Paris Exhibition, and Vienna. In the latter town he gave several lectures on South Africa, concentrating on the Transvaal goldfields, before the Imperial Institute of Civil Engineers and Architects. He also visited the mines in Transylvania (now part of Romania) and inspected an aerial wire rope system for conveying ore in France and Germany. He returned to the Witwatersrand to represent several syndicates and private individuals.

Halder applied for the post of State Mining Engineer of the South African Republic in August 1890. However, he did not get the post, for in May 1891 was living in Pietersburg (now Polokwane). He applied for naturalization as a citizen of the South African Republic in 1894 and two years later, writing from Bulawayo, confirmed that he wished to remain a citizen of the republic. In December 1897 he resided in Johannesburg. That year a paper by him on "Mining in Rhodesia" was published in the Transacations of the Institute of Mining Engineers (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1897, Vol. 13, pp. 609-611).

Halder married Maria Wilhelmina Heine in Pietermaritzburg on 31 May 1880. They had two or three sons.

List of sources:
Barberton Herald, 26 August 1887, Opening of the new hospital; 31 August 1888, Local and general.

Cullingworth, J.M. Rapport van het Hospitaal te Barberton, 1890.

Gold Fields News (Barberton), 28 July 1888, Barberton Association of Civil Engineers; 5 December 1888, Paris Exhibition; Extra of 7 August 1889, Mr A.H. Halder in Europe.

Gold Fields Times (Barberton), 21 December 1886, [Notice] To builders.

Hall, A.L. A bibliography of South African geology to the end of 1920. Pretoria: Geological Survey, Memoir No. 18, 1922.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Halder, A.H.

Plug, C. Early scientific and professional societies in the Transvaal: Barberton 1887-1889. South African Journal of Cultural History, 1990, Vol. 4(3), pp. 190-199.

Rootsweb mailing lists. Re: Halder family. Downloaded from http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/SOUTH-AFRICA/1997-08/0871185839 on 2017-5-10.

South Africa – a Weekly Journal, 1 June 1901: Deaths. Downloaded from http://www.eggsa.org/newspapers/index.php/south-african-magazine/577-south-africa-1901-2-april-june.html on 2017-5-10.

Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org as on 11 November 2008.

Compiled by: C. Plug