German manufacturer and philanthropist; born at Darmstadt, Hesse, March 12, 1824; died there March 27, 1901. Even as a boy his love for technical work was noticeable, in consequence of which his father sent him to the technical high school of his native town. On being graduated thence he went to Vienna, Nuremberg, and Paris, working in those cities as an ordinary mechanic, and thus acquiring extensive knowledge.
Returning to Darmstadt, Blumenthal started a factory for the manufacture of agricultural implements, which became one of the largest factories of steam threshing-machines in southern Germany. He took great interest in the improvement of the condition of the farmers, and urged the passage of laws for their benefit. He also organized and took a leading part in agricultural societies. During the Franco-Prussian war he was very active in sending relief to the Hessian troops at the front, and supported from his own means a hospital on his estate in Darmstadt.
Blumenthal did much for the beautifying of his native city and toward ameliorating the condition of the laboring classes. In acknowledgment of his services in this respect, one of the leading thorough-fares in Darmstadt was named after him.
It was his influence with the Grand Duke of Hesse, during the anti-Semitic movement in Germany, which caused the government of Hesse to take a decided stand against the agitators and to protect the Jews. For a quarter of a century Blumenthal was a member of the city council, and for more than two decades the president of the Jewish community of Darmstadt.
Blumenthal was an active philanthropist, supporting many benevolent societies of different creeds, and assisting the worthy poor. In appreciation of his services to city and state he received the title of "Kommerzienrath," and was decorated with the Hessian Ludwig cross, the Prussian Order of the Crown, the Hessian cross for merit, and the medal for non-combatants.