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Johannes Bähr

Werner von Siemens


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ISBN: 978-3-406-71416-0
Verlag: C.H.Beck (Deutschland)
Format: Fester Einband
575 Seiten; with 183 figures and 3 maps; 24 cm x 15.8 cm, 1. Auflage, 2017


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.



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 

Biografische Anmerkung zu den Verfassern

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



Übersetzt von: Patricia C. Sutcliffe