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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/566

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

is one of childish simplicity, of fishing out in the stormy ocean, from a depth comparable to that of the vale of Chamouni, the ends of a broken cable. Electrical resistance is measured by the Siemens mercury unit. “Siemens” is written on water-metres, and Russian and German revenue officers are assisted by Siemens apparatus in levying their assessments. The Siemens processes for gilding and silvering and the Siemens anastatic printing mark stages in the development of those branches of industry. Siemens differential regulators control the action of the steam-engines that forge English arms at Woolwich and that of the chronographs on which the transit of the stars is marked at Greenwich. The Siemens cast-steel works and glass-houses, with their regenerative furnaces, are admired by all artisans. The Siemens electric light shines in assembly-rooms and public places, and the Siemens gas-light competes with it; while the Siemens electro-culture in greenhouses bids defiance to our long winter nights. The Siemens electric railway is destined to rule in cities and tunnels. The Siemens electric crucible, melting three pounds of platinum in twenty minutes, was a wonder of the Paris Exposition, which might well have been called an exposition of Siemens apparatus and productions, so prominent were they there. It is a rare phenomenon when a whole family becomes so distinguished by eminent talent in a particular field of activity as the four Siemens brothers have been. They all seem to share their peculiar talent in a nearly equal degree, and to use it for a common purpose; and so heartily have they assisted each other that in the list of their inventions it is often hard to draw the line between what shall be accredited to one, what to another of the brothers. They all worked so harmoniously together, says the biographer of Sir William in the London "Times"—"the idea suggested by one being taken up and elaborated by another—that it is hardly possible to attribute to each his own proper credit for their joint labor. The task, too, is rendered all the harder by the fact that each brother was always ready to attribute a successful invention to any of the family rather than to himself." William was most appreciated in England because he lived and worked there; Werner, in Germany, because there was his home and field of activity.

Charles William Siemens was born at Lenthe, in Hanover, April 4, 1823. He received his early education at the Catharinum," in Lübeck; then studied engineering in the Polytechnical School at Magdeburg; and in 1841 and 1842 studied in the University of Göttingen, where he enjoyed the instructions of Wöhler and Himly. Having finished his academical career at the age of nineteen, and displaying already some of that inventive faculty by which his brother, six years older, was distinguished, he entered the engine-works of Count Stolberg, where his attention was directed in the line of the practical applications of science to industry. He and Werner having devised an improved process in electro-plating with silver and gold,