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The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Siemens, Karl Wilhelm

SIEMENS, Sir Karl Wilhelm, German-English physicist and inventor: b. Lenthe, Hanover, 4 April 1823; d. London, 19 Nov. 1883. He was educated at the gymnasium at Lübeck, the polytechnic school at Magdeburg and the University of Göttingen. At 19 he became a pupil in the engine works of Count Stolberg, and a year later visited England for the purpose of introducing a method of electro-plating, the joint invention of his brother Werner and himself. In the same year the brothers invented a differential governor for steam-engines, and in 1844 he again went to England to patent this invention. From that time he settled in England, becoming naturalized in 1859. Among the many other inventions with which he, in combination with his brothers, must be credited, are the regenerating gas furnace for metallurgical purposes, the process of making steel and iron direct from ore, which has revolutionized the steel and iron trades, and improvements in the manufacture and laying of telegraph lines. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1862; was one time president of the British Association; and was knighted in 1883. He published ‘On the Utilization of Heat and Other Natural Forces’ (1878); ‘The Dynamo Electric Current and its Steadiness’ (1881); ‘On the Conservation of Solar Energy’ (1883). His ‘Scientific Works’ were edited by E. F. Bamber (1888). Consult Pole, Dr. ‘Life of Sir William Siemens’ (London 1888); ‘Dictionary of National Biography’ (London 1897); The Times (London, 20 Nov. 1883).