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Werner von Siemens' oldest son Arnold joined the management in 1882 as a co-owner with wide-ranging experience of the business in Germany and abroad. Previous responsibilities included heading the subsidiary of Siemens & Halske reopened in Vienna in 1879 and responsibility for the founding of a Siemens company in Chicago. After his father withdrew from the business, in 1890 he became a personally liable partner together with his uncle Carl and brother Wilhelm. When the senior manager Carl von Siemens resigned from his position as Chairman of the Supervisory Board in 1904, Arnold succeeded him. He devoted himself in particular to the social and representative tasks within the company. Arnold von Siemens was married to Ellen von Helmholtz, daughter of the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz.
Wilhelm von Siemens, Werner von Siemens’ second son, joined Siemens & Halske in 1879 after studying science at the university. In 1884 he became one of the owners, and beginning in 1890 he was a general partner. As his brother Arnold began to devote more and more time to social and ceremonial duties, Wilhelm soon took on the dominant role in managing the growing firm. During his 30 years in management, Wilhelm shaped Siemens’ development through a number of far-sighted business decisions. For example, he took the initiative in founding Siemens-Schuckertwerke GmbH, and also played a key role in the formation – at the Kaiser’s behest – of Telefunken. In addition to his business activities, Wilhelm von Siemens lent significant impetus to industrial research, and was very much personally involved in fostering the development of technical innovations. The development of the first metal-filament incandescent lamp, implementation of high-speed railroad trials and construction of the first high-speed telegraph were some of the milestones during his tenure.
Carl Friedrich von Siemens, the third and youngest son of company founder Werner von Siemens, took over leadership of the company after the end of World War I, when his two older brothers, Arnold and Wilhelm, had already passed away. As “head of the house,” he designed the strategy that would guide the firm through the difficult political and economic years under the Weimar Republic and the National Socialist regime. In his strategic decision making, his main focus was on maintaining and strengthening the unity of the enterprise. His corporate policies were aimed at preserving the company’s universal scope within the electrical industry. Siemens was the only company in the industry that was involved in both light-current and heavy-current technology, as telecommunications and power technology were then known. Carl Friedrich von Siemens’ farsightedness was a crucial factor in restoring Siemens, despite the losses suffered in the war, to its position as one of the world’s leading electrical companies by the mid-1920s. In addition to his work in the company, Carl Friedrich von Siemens was politically active as a deputy to the Reichstag, representing the German Democratic Party. He also demonstrated his civic commitment, holding numerous offices and honorary positions in business, academia and the community.
Hermann von Siemens, the grandson of Werner von Siemens and of Hermann von Helmholtz, joined the company in 1918 as a technician. He was appointed to the Managing Board of Siemens & Halske AG in 1928, and became head of the Central Laboratory for Communications Technology one year later. There he made important contributions to the development of telex technology. As head of the Central Technology Office, he became a member of the Managing Board of Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG in 1935. Later, he was named Chairman of the Supervisory Board of both parent companies – Siemens & Halske and Siemens-Schuckertwerke. In this position, which he took over in 1941 after the death of his uncle Carl Friedrich von Siemens and held until 1956, Hermann von Siemens played a significant role in the post-World War II reconstruction of the company. He was particularly involved in promoting scientific and technological research, both internally and externally.
Ernst Albrecht von Siemens, son of Carl Friedrich and grandson of Siemens’ founder Werner von Siemens, was born in 1903 in Kingston, Great Britain. He studied physics at the Technical University in Munich, and joined Siemens in 1929, beginning his career at Berlin’s Werner Plant for Telecommunications. Ernst von Siemens began serving on the Managing Board of Siemens & Halske in 1943 when he was named a deputy member. He became a full member in 1948 and was appointed chairman in 1949. In 1945 he became a deputy member of the Managing Board of Siemens-Schuckertwerke, and a full member in 1948. From 1956 to 1966, he served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of both companies, and from 1966 to 1971 as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. Even after stepping down as chairman, Ernst von Siemens remained a member of the Supervisory Board until 1978, serving as an honorary member.Ernst von Siemens played an integral part role in rebuilding the company after World War II, particularly in the area of international business, which laid the foundation for the company’s successful re-entry into the international marketplace. It was under his leadership that Siemens & Halske AG, Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG und Siemens-Reiniger-Werke AG were merged in 1966, forming the company we know today as Siemens AG. In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Ernst von Siemens was also an active supporter of science and the arts.
Peter von Siemens (1911-1986), the grandson of Wilhelm von Siemens, was born in 1911 in Berlin. He began work at Siemens & Halske in 1934. From 1936 he worked in various managerial capacities in the sales department of Siemens-Reiniger-Werke's medical engineering sector - in particular in Brazil and Argentina - and in 1950 he joined the central sales administration department of Siemens-Schuckert in Erlangen. In 1959 Peter von Siemens was appointed to the Managing Board of Siemens-Schuckertwerke and four years later became a member of the company's Supervisory Board. From 1971 to 1981 he was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG. Under his leadership, Siemens became the fifth largest electrical engineering company in the world. In addition to his activities in the company and as a member of the supervisory board of other major German industrial companies, Peter von Siemens held numerous honorary political and business offices. He was appointed general commissioner for Germany for the International World Exhibition in Montreal in 1967.
Friedrich Siemens, a younger brother of Werner von Siemens, was born on December 8, 1826. In 1856 he developed the regenerative furnace for industrial processes, which was used first in the glass industry and subsequently in metallurgy. The internationally acclaimed steel manufacturing process based on this furnace was developed by Friedrich and William Siemens, together with the Frenchmen Pierre and Emile Martin - and has been known since 1868 as the Siemens-Martin process. In 1867 Friedrich took over a glass foundry in Dresden and used his regenerative furnace for the mass production of glass. In 1871 he acquired a second glass foundry in Bohemia for the production of lighting articles and bottles. He also leased the state mineral well in Fachingen and developed gas chimneys as a healthier method of heating homes. When Friedrich Siemens died on May 24, 1904 in Dresden, he left behind a prosperous enterprise, which became one of the top European glass companies after World War I.
Hertha von Siemens was the youngest daughter of Werner von Siemens and his second wife Antonie. A special exception was made for her to study with the important Berlin chemist Emil Fischer on account of her particular gift for science. In 1899 she married Fischer's assistant Dr. Carl Dietrich Harries. Hertha devoted herself to the social needs of the Siemens workforce, and established children's homes, welfare institutions and recreation homes; she was particularly involved in the financing and training of young people with no means of support. In 1909 she established the Hertha von Siemens Foundation, which gave the company's employees the opportunity to stay in a recreation home at low cost; for this purpose she had the "Ettershaus" built in the Harzburg, which opened in 1910 as Siemens' first recreation home. In 1916 she was a cofounder of the "Vereinigung für Wohlfahrtsbestrebungen" (Welfare Association), which included among its responsibilities the administration of the Siemens homes and social counseling for female employees. Hertha Harries died on January 5, 1939 in Berlin.
Arnold von Siemens
Wilhelm von Siemens
Carl Friedrich von Siemens
Hermann von Siemens
Ernst von Siemens
Peter von Siemens