Beginnings

What we know now as Siemens was created in October of 1847, by 31 year old Werner von Siemens and Johann Georg Halske. The original name of the company was Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von (Telegraph Construction Company of) Siemens & Halske. The company started with 10 total employees based out of Berlin. Producing electrical telegraphs, the companies only product were the telegraphs for a good majority of its early existence.


Only a year after the creation of Siemens & Halske they were contracted to build a 500-km route from Berlin to Frankfurt. They also created the Russian state telegraph lines, which spanned over 10,000km and actually shifted the companies main focus of income into Russia, forcing them to establish their first foreign agency. By 1858, Siemens & Halske had already set their sights on new markets founded a subsidiary company (Siemens, Halske & Co.) in London ran by his brother Sir William Siemens. Siemens had also been very fond of high quality employees and retaining them, and started profit sharing as well as creating a pension fund. By this time, Siemens & Halske were field leaders in telegraph, laying under water lines that reached from Europe to the United States.

Heavy Current Engineering

Werner von Siemens was not only a pioneering businessman, he still was very much an inventor. He founded the dynamo-electric principle, which is the ability to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. This “heavy current” has many uses that Werner experimented with and in the 1879 worlds fair proposed the idea of an elevated railway to reduce traffic in booming cities as well as electric street cars. This was the start of Siemens moving from just purely a telecommunications company and widening its capabilities. By the 1890's Werner von Siemens retires and the company becomes a join-stock company. When Werner passes away in 1892 the comapny has 6,500 employees in which 4,775 live in Germany.

Growth and Expansion

Siemens & Halske merges with Schuckert & Co. one of the largest electrial engineering companies to give them the lead in both the communication and power fields. Siemens also see the new and emerging automobile market and Protos, within a span of a few years Siemens had grow exponentially. With the ever increasing size of the company, they move to northwest Berlin and start acquiring all the uninhabited land, eventually building factories and housing to create Siemensstadt (Siemens City), a whole new urban district. Though this rate of growth is severely stunted by the advent of World War I, losing nearly 40% of their assets and many of their foreign subsidiaries. The company still remained afloat because they focused heavily on electrical engineering and production. Another risk that Siemens took at this time was to invest heavily in the new and emerging Telephone technology and Radio technology. This lead Siemens to adapt the “Assembly line” production style to provide the ever increasing number of people with electrical household goods, even being very well renowned for their vacuums, but being on the cutting edge of eletrical technology was still a goal of Siemens by working on some of the first Electron Mircoscopes.

ger/101/2011/fall/pre_wwii.txt · Last modified: 2011/10/25 21:24 by zmjohnson
 
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