Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,136 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide
1893. Hoisting the 120-Ton Krupp Gun.
1907. Hydraulic shears.
1907. 50 ton steam hammer.
1907. 5000 ton hydraulic forging press.
1907. Bending an armour plate.
1907. Large horizontal lathe.
1907. Machine shop No. VIII.
1907. Ordnance Shop, No. II.
1907. Ordnance Shop No.V.
1907. Ordnance Shop No. VII.
1907. Centre bay of machine shop.
1907. Gun on central pivot naval mounting.
1903. Electric shipbuilding cranes.
1903. Electric shipbuilding cranes.
1914. Heavy field gun.
February 1929.
1928. 50 cycle single phase electric locomotive.
2012. Crane working in Capetown.

The Krupp family had been settled in the village of Essen for many generations.

1787 Birth of Friedrich Krupp into an old Essen family of merchants; he went onto found the family firm.

1800 the "Gute Hoffnungshutte" Ironworks, which became one of the most important in Germany, were acquired and worked by the widow of Hermann Krupp.

Experiments were carried out in making steel.

In 1810 Krupp started a small forge, and a hammer mill worked by water.

1811 Friedrich Krupp (1787-1826) and two partners set up a factory for the manufacture of English cast steel and products made from this steel.

From 1816 as sole proprietor he manufactured high-quality cast steel which he used to produce tanner's tools, coining dies and coin blanks.

1826 Friedrich Krupp died, having used up his physical strength, as well as his fortune. He left the secret of making steel to his son Alfred.

Following his untimely death his widow, Therese Krupp (1790 - 1850), continued to run the small business with a handful of employees, helped by her then 14 year old eldest son Alfred (1812-1887). He continued with the production of cast steel, but shifted manufacturing operations toward finished products, primarily precision rolls for which he provided a guarantee of quality. After import duties were lifted, sales expanded abroad.

1832 the number of employees had risen to ten. After much hard work, the number employed rose to 8187 in 1865. By the end of the century, 43,000 were employed in the works.

1852 Krupp finally left the small workman's cottage where he had won his way to fame. Shortly after he married, and his son, Friedrich Alfred Krupp, was born on February 17th, 1854.

The advent of the railways opened up new applications for Krupp's durable cast steel. Alongside axles and springs, these include above all the seamless and thus fracture-proof railway tyre developed by Alfred Krupp. In 1875 Krupp chose 3 superimposed railway tyres as his company logo, which becomes known throughout the world.

Krupp earned greatest fame as a maker of ordnance. His first large order was guns for Egypt in 1857, In 1861 the Prussian military authorities adopted the Krupp breech-loading system which gave them an advantage in the 1870 war with the French. The factory was supplied from the company's own iron and coal mines and blast furnaces.

Steel production was made profitable by the early introduction of new production methods such as the Bessemer process and the open hearth process. Alfred Krupp met the company's rapidly growing raw materials requirements by acquiring ore and coal mines and steel mills. In 1862 he appointed an accountable management board.

1887 Alfred Krupp died.

1886 the company acquired the Annen steel mill near Witten.

1893 the Gruson Works in Magdeburg was purchased forming Fried Krupp Grusonwerk

1896/1902 takeover of Schiff-und Maschinenbau AG Germania in Kiel which provided access to the shipbuilding sector

1902 Friedrich Alfred Krupp, of Essen, died at the age of forty-nine

The Krupp Works consisted of:

WWI: armaments production increased to more than five times the pre-war level to meet government orders. After the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles forbad the production of arms almost completely. Dismantling and production changeovers cause problems for Krupp, exacerbated by the general political and economic situation (occupation of the Ruhr, inflation). It took many years before success was again achieved in the newly added production operations, e.g. the construction of locomotives, trucks, agricultural machinery and excavators. The group was stabilized by streamlining the manufacturing operations and expanding stainless steel production.

1926 Krupp launched WIDIA carbide, representing a significant advance in tooling technology thanks to its hardness and wear resistance.

After 1933 Krupp was tied closely to the economic policies of the National Socialist regime. Increased demand for rolling mill products, primarily for highway construction, resulted in the expansion of the structural engineering shops in Rheinhausen. The construction of locomotives, trucks and ships was stepped up. In parallel with this, Krupp resumed arms production. At the end of 1943 Fried. Krupp AG is converted back to a sole proprietorship and transferred to the eldest son Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1907-1967). He took over the company at a time when intervention in production by munitions authorities and semi-private control bodies was on the increase.

Post-WWII: the business is restricted to manufacturing operations; the steel mills and mines were sequestered and placed under a divestment order by the Allies. The company thus no longer has its raw materials and key steel base. In the subsequent years the remaining manufacturing operations form the basis of a restructured group.

1968 renamed as Fried. Krupp GmbH

1969 The coal mines were separated from the group and transferred to Ruhrkohle AG. In the subsequent years, all the company's divisions expanded through organic growth and the acquisition of several important interests in the plant construction sector. The acquisition of a majority interest and subsequent takeover of Stahlwerke Südwestfalen AG enabled expansion in the stainless steel sector. By purchasing VDM Nickel-Technologie, the Group incorporated one of the world's leading suppliers of high-performance materials. In the period 1980 to 1983, Fried. Krupp GmbH spun off all its operating activities and was restructured into a purely management holding company.

1980s Negotiations were started with Thyssen Stahl AG for a merger; as a result the two companies cooperated closely in selected Business Areas.

The acquisition of a majority interest in Hoesch AG in Dortmund is followed by its merger with Fried. Krupp AG. The new company was called Fried. Krupp AG Hoesch-Krupp.

1997 The two groups’ flat steel activities were combined to form Thyssen Krupp Stahl AG.

1999 Thyssen and Krupp merged as Thyssen Krupp AG.

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