Skip to main content

Siemens, Charles William (Carl Wilhelm)

SIEMENS, CHARLES WILLIAM (CARL WILHELM)

(b. Lenthe, near Hannover, Germany, 4 April 1823: d. London, England, 19 November 1883)

engineering.

The seventh son of Christian Ferdinand Siemens, a prosperous farmer, and Eleonore Deichmann, Siemens was naturalized as a British subject on 19 March 1859. He married Anne Gordon on 23 July of that year. Siemens was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (president, 1872), the Iron and Steel Institute (president, 1877), the Society of Telegraph Engineers (first president, 1872), the British Association (president, 18820, and the Royal Society of Arts (chairman, 1882) and a fellow of the Royal Society.

Having received a sound German technical education, Siemens went at age twenty to England and profitable promoted an electroplating invention of his older brother Werner (who in 1847 founded the German company of Siemens and Halske). After several years of indifferent success with other inventions, including regenerative steam engines, an engine governor, and a printing technique, he became agent in Britain for his brother’s telegraph equipment and later a partner in his subsidiary British company. During the same period (1850–1858) Siemens developed a highly successful meter for measuring water consumption. These activities, combined with his important invention (1861) of the regenerative gas furnace and its application to open-hearth steelmaking and other industrial; processes, made him independently wealthy before 1870.

In 1874 Siemens designed the cable ship Faraday and assisted in the laying of the first of several transatlantic cables that it completed. During the last fifteen years of his life he actively supported the development of the engineering profession and its societies and stimulated public interest in the conservation of fuel, the reduction of air pollution and the potential value of electric power in a wide variety of engineering applications.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Siemens’ writings are collected in The Scientific Works of C. William Siemens, Kt., E. F. Bamber, ed., 3 vols. (London, 1889).

A biography is William Pole. The Life of Sir William Siemens (London, 1888). See also H. T. Wood in Dictionary of National Biography, XVIII (Oxford, 1922), Many incidental references are in Georg Siemens, History of the House of Siemes, 2 vols. (Freiburg, 1957), and in a collection of his brother’s memoirs, Werner von Siemens, Inventor and Entreperneur (Clifton, N. J., 1966).

Robert A. Chipman

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Siemens, Charles William (Carl Wilhelm)." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 14 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Siemens, Charles William (Carl Wilhelm)." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 14, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/siemens-charles-william-carl-wilhelm

"Siemens, Charles William (Carl Wilhelm)." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved October 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/siemens-charles-william-carl-wilhelm

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.