Today in Entrepreneurial History: December 13

Werner von Siemens

On this day in 1816 Ernst Werner von Siemens, the German engineer, inventor, and industrialist was born.

Werner Von Siemens is best known in the English-speaking world as an inventor and pioneering electrical engineer. While previous studies have concentrated on his work as a scientist and technician, this biography, the first in a three-volume history of the Siemens corporation, focuses on his life as a businessman. Siemens was not only a successful inventor but also an entrepreneur with a broad and international business vision.

Siemens first achieved success in telegraphy. His firm, Siemens & Halske, built Germany’s first important telegraph line and went on to build elsewhere in Europe and Asia. Siemens then turned his hand to electric technology. He was instrumental in creating the conditions for the advancement of electrical technology from the experimental stage into the modern electrical industry.

Siemens combined his engineering brilliance with entrepreneurial skills to develop a business whose activities at an early stage nearly spanned the globe. Siemens held a multinational vision almost from the start. The Siemens firms were unique in that, rather than starting small then slowly growing and branching out, they were from their inception international organizations.

For more, read Werner Von Siemens: Inventor and International Entrepreneur.


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