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Kálmán  Saxlehner
(1868-ca.1938)

Kálmán Saxlehner was born in Budapest, Hungary, around 1868; The Saxlehners were originally Protestants, hailing from Saxony in the 1600s. Kálmán was the son of Emilie and Andras Saxlehner (1815-1889), a merchant who had become wealthy bottling and selling purgative (mildly laxative) mineral waters from lands he had purchased near Budaőrs, east of Budapest in 1862. Andras built a magnificent building in Budapest in 1884-1886 called Saxlehner Palace, one floor of which was the living quarters for his family, offices were in the back of the building, and the rest was rented out as luxury apartments. Frescoes everywhere visualize the allegory of healing waters and springs. Although Andras died in 1889, the company and the now-famous Hunyadi János mineral water springs continued under the ownership of his wife, Emilie, and was managed by his son, Kalman, the business always being conducted in his father's name.

Kalman developed an interest in geology and mineralogy, probably as a result of his work at the family mineral springs. The 120 acres of the Orsod Valley surrounding the spring were developed as a compound to preserve the purity of the water. A collection plant drew water from 112 wells tapping the spring, and was manned by approximately 250 employees. By 1900 the company had sold over 6 million bottles of Hunyadi mineral water. Kalman prepared a book carefully analyzing the geological formations which accounted for the springs and the mineral components of the water. In the Report on the Sessions of the Hungarian Geological Society for November 4, 1891, it is mentioned that "Kálmán Saxlehner, Privatier zu Budapest," was being recommended for membership in the Society.

In order the establish a basis for exporting the water to American, Kalman made a first visit to the U.S. in 1895, then again with his friend Dr. B. Walla (probably to give scientific testimony about the virtues of the water) in 1897, eventually reaching Los Angeles, San Francisco, and even Alaska. He and his wife, Oedaen, lived in New York for a few years (probably from 1901 to 1910) to run the New York office of the company; Kalman became a member of the New York Athletic Club. Their son, Kalman (Jr.), was born in 1906 and died in Montreal in 1988.

Kalman Saxlehner built a considerable collection of minerals, and no doubt became familiar with the New York mineral dealers Lazard Cahn, Albert Petereit and others. His collection was ultimately dispersed by the Austrian dealer Anton Berger in the 1930s.

References:
Passenger records: Arrived in US on April 3, 1897.
Los Angeles Herald, July 23, 1897: "Foreign visitors at the [Coronado] hotel included K. Saxlehner and Dr. B. Walla of Budapest, Hungary."
San Francisco Call, July 25, 1897: "Recent foreign arrivals are K. Saxlehner and Dr. B. Walla of Budapest."
SAXLEHNER, K. "Viaggio nell'Alasca." Bollettino della Societŕ geografica italiana, Volume 36.
GOLDSTEIN, M. A. (2012) On Beyond Holcombe: Andreas Saxlehner's Hunyadi Janos Natural Mineral Water. 1898 Revenues (online).
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
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The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner Andras Saxlehner (1815-1886), father of Kalman Saxlehner and founder of the family's bottled-water fortune.
The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner 1897 ad for the Saxlehner family's bottled spring water
The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner Kalman Saxlehner label, 48 x 78 mm, stamped for resale by Anton Berger
The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner Kalman Saxlehner label, 59 x 81 mm, stamped for resale by Anton Berger.
The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner Anton Berger label, 40 x 74 mm, for a specimen from the Kalman Saxlehner collection.
The Mineralogical Record - Kálmán  Saxlehner Anton Berger label, 40 x 74 mm, for a specimen from the Kalman Saxlehner collection.
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