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 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 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.

Siegmund Bergmann

From Graces Guide

Siegmund Bergmann (c1852-1927)


1927 Obituary [1]

The late Herr Siegmund Bergmann.— We regret to record the death of Herr Siegmund Bergmann, the head of the well-known German electrical manufacturing firm, Bergmann Elektricitats Werke, which occurred in Berlin on July 7, at the age of 75.

Bergmann was born in Thuringia, but like Steinmetz and many other pioneer electrical workers, emigrated to America at the age of 18, where he became an assistant, and later a partner, of Mr. Thomas A. Edison. He was associated with that inventor in many of his electrical discoveries, and in an industrial enterprise, which he started, subsequently formed part of the Edison Electrical Company. On his return to Germany, he established two electrical companies in Berlin, and in 1900 these were combined under the title of the Bergmann Elektricitats Werke. Of this concern, which formed, with the Allgemeine Elektricitats Gesselschaft and the Siemens Schuckertwerke, the three largest electrical firms in Germany, he was general director at the time of his death. Though latterly his energies and those of his firm had been devoted to the development of the heavy side of electrical engineering, in his early days he took a great interest in telephone apparatus, and claimed with some justice to have independently invented the carbon microphone. This was at the time that he was in Edison’s employment, and the story goes that the latter was so interested in the device that, contrary to usual custom, he devoted a Sunday to testing it on the telegraph line between Boston and New York. The result of this test was quite successful, but a search of the patent records showed that Bergmann had been anticipated by a few days by Graham Bell.


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