Siemens, Werner von

BORN 13 Dec 1816, Lenthe, Niedersachsen (near Hannover) - DIED 6 Dec 1892, Berlin: Charlottenburg
BIRTH NAME Siemens, Ernst Werner von
GRAVE LOCATION Stahnsdorf, Brandenburg: Südwestkirchhof, Bahnhofstrasse (Block Trinitatis, Feld 3a, Erbbegräbnis 22)

Werner von Siemens was the fourth son of the farmer Christian Ferdinand Siemens (1787-1840). He studied at the Bauakademie in Berlin, but the financial problems of his family forced him to enter the Prussian Miltary Academy instead. He was trained as an officer between 1835 and 1838. In 1840 he participated in a duel and was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. In his cell in the citadel of Magdeburg he created an experimental laboratory and developed a process for electroplating.

After he received a pardon he was transferred to Berlin. He was involved in designing eletrically charged sea mines which were used against Denmark in 1848. In 1846 he designed a telegraph with a needle that pointed to the right letter and together with J.G. Halske he started his own company in 1847.

He left the army in June 1849 and concentrated on his company. In 1852 he married his distant relative Mathilde Drumann (1824-1865), the daughter of professor Wilhelm Drumann. They had two sons and two daughters. Mathilde died in 1865 and in 1869 he married his distant niece Antonie Siemens (1840-1900). They had one son and one daughter.

The Siemens company grew to an international scale. In 1852 a telegraph connection between Warawa and St Petersburg was established. His brother William Siemens worked for the company in England and his brother Carl in Russia. In 1867 Halske left the company. In 1870 the Indo-European telegraph line was completed. The company constructed the first electric elevator in Mannheim in 1880 and the first electric tram in Berlin in 1881.

In 1861 he became a member of the liberal Deutschen Nationalvereins and from 1863 to 1866 he was a member of the Prussian Chamber of Deputies. In 1872 he created a pension fund for his employees and in 1873 the weekly working time was reduced to 54 hours. He was enobled in 1888 and retired from the company in 1890. He died in 1892 in Berlin and was buried at the Alten Luisenfriedhof. In 1922 his remains were transferred to the new Siemens family grave at the Südwestfriedhof in Stahnsdorf.

Related persons
• is brother/sister of Siemens, Carl von

12/10/1847Foundation of the Siemens & Halske company. The full name of the company was Telegraphen Bau-Anstalt von Siemens & Halske and this company was the predecessor of the current Siemens AG. 


The grave of Werner von Siemens at the Südwestfriedhof, Stahnsdorf.
Picture by Androom (23 Aug 2017)


Werner von Siemens – Wikipedia
Werner von Siemens - Wikipedia

Signoret, Simone

Published: 02 Jun 2019
Last update: 06 Mar 2021