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Škoda studied engineering in Prague and Karlsruhe and in 1866 became chief engineer of the machine factory of Ernst Fürst von Waldstein-Wartenberg, founded in 1859 at Pilsen. He bought the factory three years later, in 1869, and began to expand it, building a railway connection to the facility in 1886 and adding an arms factory in 1890 to produce machine guns for the Austro-Hungarian Army. His facilities continued to expand over the next decade, and he incorporated his holdings in 1899 as the Škoda Works, which would become famous for its arms production in both World War I and World War II.