Ernst Werner Siemens was a German inventor and industrialist. Siemen’s name has been adopted as the SI unit of electrical conductance, the Siemens. He was also the founder of the electrical and telecommunications company Siemens. Take a look below for 25 more fascinating and interesting facts about Ernst Werner von Siemens.
1. Siemens was born on December 13, 1816, in present day Gehrden in the family of a poor farmer named Ferdinand Siemens and his wife Eleonore.
2. His younger brothers were Carl Heinrich von Siemens and Carl Wilhelm Siemens, both of whom became integral members of Siemens.
3. Siemens studied at his local school, where he showed a gift for the sciences and aspired to study at the well-known technical school “Bauakademie” but his parents didn’t have the money.
4. He joined the Prussian Military Academy’s School of Engineering in 1835 in order to complete his education.
5. It was during his time at the School of Engineering that he first came across a telegraph in the year 1837, a year before he graduated.
6. As soon as he was introduced to the telegraph, he looked for ways in which it could be used for international communication.
7. Siemens had successfully laid the lines for a telegraph communication network between Berlin and Frankfurt, during Germany’s war with Denmark in the year 1848.
8. He established his own company named “Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens and Halske” on October 1, 1847, along with his two brothers, Carl Heinrich and Carl Wilhelm, who represented the interests of the company in Russia and England respectively.
9. Siemens was a good soldier and received several medals.
10. While in the army, he invented an electric sea mine which was used against a Danish blockage of Kiel.
11. His first invention was an improvement to the gold and silver plating process, the rights of which he sold to Elkington of Birmingham in 1843.
12. Siemens invented a telegraph that used a needle to point to the letters rather than using the old system of Morse code.
13. In 1880, Siemens built the first electric elevator.
14. His company made the tubes for Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen‘s experiments with X-rays.
15. On December 14, 1877, he received a German patent for a moving coil inductor which the Bell company later used in a loudspeaker.
16. He was the inventor of the electric trollybus, which was first tested on April 29, 1882.
17. He received 4 U.S. patents for various inventions for the electric railway and one in May, 1890, for an electric meter.
18. In recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the field of telegraphic communications, the German royalty gave him the title of “von” and made him a noble in the year 1888.
19. Siemens got married to Mathilde Duman in 1852.
20. The couple had two sons, Arnold and Georg Wilhelm.
21. Siemens exchanged the nuptial vows for the second time with Antonie Siemens, a relative, two years after the death of Mathilde in 1867.
22. Siemens and Antonie had two children, Carl Dietrich and Carl Friedrich.
23. He was an advocate of Social democracy, and he hoped that industrial development wouldn’t be used in favor of capitalism.
24. He rejected the claim that science led to materialism.
25. Siemens is the father of the trolleybus, which he initially tried and tested with his “Elektromote” on April 29, 1882.