Siemens , Sir William

(1823–1883) British engineer
Born Carl Wilhelm in Lenthe, Germany, Siemens was the son of a tenant farmer and a younger brother of Ernst Werner Siemens. He was educated at Göttingen and first visited Britain in 1843 as an agent of his brother Ernst Werner. He settled in England shortly afterwards, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1859.
Siemens worked in two main areas, namely, heat and electricity. In the age of Joule he was aware of the potential value to be gained by conserving heat. Early attempts to redesign the steam engine proved impractical. More successful was his introduction, aided by his younger brother Friedrich (1826–1904), of the regenerator furnace (1856). In the Siemens furnace the hot combustion gases were not simply discharged into the air but used to heat the air supply to the chamber. The process was first used in the manufacture of steel by an open-hearth process known as the Siemens–Martin process (after the French engineer Pierre Blaise Emile Martin, 1824–1915) in the 1860s. It proved to be the first serious challenge to the Bessemer process and by the century's end had become the favored method of steel production. On the strength of this a steel foundry was opened at Landore, South Wales, in 1869. As it failed to prosper it was abandoned in 1888.
He was more successful with his work in electric telegraphy. Siemens designed the cable-laying ship Faraday for laying a new trans-Atlantic cable in 1874. He also worked on electric lighting and on the Portrush electric railway in Northern Ireland. He died suddenly from a heart attack in 1883. When, forty years before, he had first arrived in Britain his English had been so poor that he looked for legal advice from an undertaker. Since then, it was said of him, he made three fortunes: one he lost, one he gave away, and one he bequeathed to his brothers. The electrical unit of conductance, the siemens, is named in his honor.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Siemens, Sir William — ▪ British inventor in full  Charles William Siemens,  original name  Karl Wilhelm Siemens  born April 4, 1823, Lenthe, Prussia [now in Germany] died Nov. 19, 1883, London, Eng.  German born English engineer and inventor, important in the… …   Universalium

  • SIEMENS, SIR WILLIAM —    (Karl William), younger brother of the preceding, born at Lenthe, Hanover; like his brother took to science, and in 1844 settled in England, naturalising in 1859; was manager of the English branch of the Siemens Brothers firm, and did much to… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Siemens, Sir Charles William — SUBJECT AREA: Electricity, Metallurgy, Public utilities, Telecommunications [br] b. 4 April 1823 Lenthe, Germany d. 19 November 1883 London, England [br] German/British metallurgist and inventory pioneer of the regenerative principle and open… …   Biographical history of technology

  • Siemens, Sir (Charles) William — orig. Karl Wilhelm Siemens (4 abr. 1823, Lenthe, Prusia–19 nov. 1883, Londres, Inglaterra). Ingeniero e inventor británico nacido en Alemania. Emigró a Gran Bretaña en 1844. En 1861 patentó el horno Siemens Martin u horno de solera abierta (ver… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Siemens, Sir (Charles) William — orig. Karl Wilhelm Siemens born April 4, 1823, Lenthe, Prussia died Nov. 19, 1883, London, Eng. German born British engineer and inventor. He immigrated to Britain in 1844. In 1861 he patented the open hearth furnace (see open hearth process),… …   Universalium

  • Siemens — /see meuhnz/; Ger. /zee meuhns/, n. 1. (Ernst) Werner von /erddnst verdd neuhrdd feuhn/, 1816 92, German inventor and electrical engineer. 2. his brother, Sir William (Karl Wilhelm Siemens), 1823 83, English inventor, born in Germany. * * * (as… …   Universalium

  • siemens — /see meuhnz/, n. (used with a sing. v.) Elect. the SI unit of electrical conductance, equal to the reciprocal of the ohm and replacing the equivalent MKS unit (mho). Abbr.: S [1930 35; named after Sir W. SIEMENS] * * * (as used in expressions)… …   Universalium

  • Siemens AG — German electrical equipment manufacturer. The first Siemens company, Siemens & Halske, was founded in Berlin in 1847 to build telegraph installations. Under Werner Siemens (1816–92) and his three brothers (including William Siemens), it expanded… …   Universalium

  • William Siemens — Carl Wilhelm Siemens Wilhelm Siemens Sir William Siemens (1823 1883) Carl Wilhelm Siemens (4 avril 1823 à Lenthe, Allemagne 19 novembre 1883, Grande Bretagne) était un ingénieur anglais originaire d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Siemens — Siemens, 1) Franz Ernst, Landwirt, geb. 1780 in Lutter am Barenberg, gest. 1855 in List bei Hannover, war 1806–30 Pächter der fürstlich waldeckschen Domäne Pyrmont und führte Aräometer und Thermometer, das Sieden und Zerkleinern der Kartoffeln… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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