Fr. 58.50

Werner von Siemens - 1816-1892. A Biography

English · Hardback

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Werner von Siemens gehört zu den Wegbereitern der Moderne. Johannes Bähr zeichnet ein faszinierendes Bild dieses außergewöhnlichen Unternehmers und seiner Epoche. Dazu wurden erstmals tausende Briefe auf digitaler Basis ausgewertet.

Als Erfinder hat Werner von Siemens dazu beigetragen, das Leben der Menschen zu verändern. Seine Innovationen spielten eine entscheidende Rolle, indem sie der Elektrizität immer neue Anwendungsfelder erschlossen: bei der Übertragung von Nachrichten, bei der Erzeugung von Energie, der Beleuchtung von Gebäuden und dem Antrieb von Maschinen. Doch der Pionier der Elektroindustrie war auch als Mensch facettenreich: Unternehmer und Erfinder, Offizier des preußischen Militärs, verantwortungsvoller Familienvater sowie Abgeordneter und Wissenschaftsförderer. Seine Biografie bietet das Panorama eines Jahrhunderts, in dem sich die Welt grundlegend wandelte. Kriege, Revolutionen, Könige und Zaren beeinflussten den Werdegang dieses Erfinderunternehmers, der Telegrafenkabel nach Nordamerika und Vorderasien verlegen ließ und die erste elektrische Straßenbahn der Welt baute.

List of contents


Chapter 1
Origins, childhood, and youth
A family with a bourgeois heritage - Idyllic childhood and troubled youth - School years
Chapter 2
Setting the course early on
The young lieutenant - The tragedy of Menzendorf - Separate paths for the orphans
Chapter 3
"The damned money"
Initial experiments - "Invention speculation" - Legal guardian for three brothers
Chapter 4
"Halske's Workshop"
To bet it all - The first Siemens pointer telegraph - The founding of the company
Chapter 5
Telegraph lines for Prussia
In times of revolution and war - The first long-distance lines - Unsuccessful abroad - The "Nottebohm crisis"
Chapter 6
"Family genius"
The band of brothers - Achieving love through reason - Marriage and a move - Russia or France? - Crimean War boom
Chapter 7
In the shadows
Mathilde's illness - In search of new fields of business - Difficult beginnings in London - Mathilde's death
Chapter 8
"Headed for a great time"
"For a unified and powerful Germany" - A new love - The dynamo machine - To fade away or globalize
Chapter 9
The Indo-European Telegraph Line - Private business and family matters - Transatlantic cables - Siemens Brothers & Co. Ltd.
Chapter 10
At the zenith
The businessman and his principles - Lobbyist for patent protection - Family life with Antonie - New times: Telephones and electric lighting - The first electric railways
Chapter 11
"To sustain the position achieved"
Challenged by the Edison system - Berlin versus London - The transition to a major enterprise
Chapter 12
The legacy
The next generation - A promoter of research - Ennobled against his will - The final years
Focused and determined in a time of change - a summary
AppendicesNotes - Primary sources and bibliography - Image credits - Index of names - Index of places

About the author

Johannes Bähr
is an associate professor at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main and has published numerous works on business history. 


Werner von Siemens counts as one of the pioneers of modernity and was one of the most important entrepreneurs in German history. He contributed to transforming people's everyday lives with fundamental innovations in the field of communications and energy technology. With his brothers, he laid the foundation for a global company, from which the modern-day Siemens Corporation derives. Johannes Bähr paints a fascinating picture of this extraordinary man, the son of a tenant farmer, who rose to become one of the most influential figures of the 19th century. At the same time, a panorama emerges of an epoch in which the world changed more rapidly than ever before.Werner von Siemens' success was not only economic; he was also one of the first industrialists to recognize the connection between scientific research and economic development. His innovations, above all the pointer telegraph and the dynamo machine, opened up new applications for electricity: in conveying messages, generating energy, the illumination of buildings, and the propulsion of machines. Yet the pioneer of the electronics industry was also a man with many sides: an entrepreneur and inventor, officer of the Prussian military, brother and responsible paterfamilias, as well as a political representative and promoter of science. With Werner von Siemens' biography, Johannes Bähr provides insights into a century in which the world was fundamentally transformed. Wars, revolutions, kings, and tsars influenced the career of this inventor-entrepreneur, who, among other things, was responsible for the laying of telegraph cables to North America and the Middle East and for building the first electric streetcar in the world.

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