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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:19pm

German Electro-Technical Engineering Companies

Repository for data pertaining to the subject

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:21pm

Osram AG

This concern was founded in 1906 through the pooling of the interests of the AEG and Siemens and Halske firms in the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs with those of the Deutsche Gasglühlicht AG, a subsidiary of the Auergesellschaft. As a cartel firm it controlled nearly all manufacturing of electric light bulbs in the German empire prior to the Great War. In 1911 it acquired the Austrian Österreichische Gasglühlicht-Elektrizitätsgesellschaft, gaining thereby a strong share of the Austro-Hungarian market for street lighting. In 1916 it acquired the works of the Westinghouse Meatalllfaden Glühlampenfabrik, the German subsidiary of the American Westinghouse firm through an exchange of shares.

In the aftermath of the Great War the firm moved aggressively into the domestic lighting market while retaining its interests in municipal street lighting; where it was forced to surrender its concessions for the streetlamps themselves the firm retained rights to supply the bulbs that were the heart of such systems. It also became a founding member of the postwar international light bulb cartel, pooling its patents with other major European producers. In 1930 it acquired the Helios AG für elektrisches Licht und Telegraphenanlagenbau, which specialised in the lamps required by navigational light houses.

The firm acquired interests in several electric light-bulb factories in the Austro-Hungarian successor states in the right of its former Austrian subsidiary. In 1938 it took a minor share in the reorganised Hygrade Sylvania Corporation in the United States.

The firm presently operates factories in Berlin-Moabit, Ehrenfeld, Weißwasser-Oberlausitz and Wien.


Affiliates of the firm include:

Akciova tovarna na zarovky 'Elektra', Prague, Czechoslovkia (light bulb manufacture)
Egyesult Izzolampa es Villamossagi Reszvenytarsasag, Budapest, Hungary (light bulb manufacture)
Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (electrical lighting)

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:33pm

Accumulatoren Fabrik AG

Accumulatoren Fabrik AG, Germany’s premier manufacturer of storage batteries for all manner of application, was founded in 1890 by the entrepreneur Adolph Mueller in association with the firms of Siemens und Halske and Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft. With its headquarters and main works at Hagen in the Ruhr it remains the principal manufacturer of portable, industrial and marine batteries in Germany.

The firm’s first subsidiary, VARTA Akkumulatoren GmbH, opened its works in Berlin-Oberschöneweide to manufacture starter batteries for the automotive industry. In 1910 the firm acquired Grubenlampenfabrik Dominit, a manufacturer of safety lamps for mining, and in 1913 followed this with the purchase of the Deutsche Edison Accumulatoren Compagnie, a manufacturer of steel alkali batteries. A major change in the firm’s orientation was the acquisition in 1923 of the Pertrix Chemische Fabrik of Hamburg, a manufacturer of dry cell batteries for use in electric torches, wireless equipment and other household applications. In 1928 the work of Pertrix was relocated to a new factory in Berlin- Niederschöneweide.

In July 1937 ground was broken for a state-of-the-art production facility in Hannover-Stöcken, consisting of six ground floor production halls, and facilities that included areas for lead recycling, lead powder storage, rubber production, and a foundry. This new facility was to manufacture power supply batteries, such as those used for submarines, and starter batteries for cars, trucks, and other vehicles.


Subsidiaries of the firm include:

Akkumulatorenwerke GmbH, Hannover-Stöcken (power supply batteries)
Deutsche Edison Accumulatoren AG, Ellwangen (steel alkali batteries)
Grubenlampenfabrik Dominit AG, Dortmund (mining safety lamps)
Pertrix-Werk AG, Berlin-Niederschöneweide (disposable dry cell batteries)
VARTA Akkumulatoren GmbH, Berlin-Oberschöneweide (starter batteries and other portable batteries)


Affiliates of the firm include:

Gesellschaft für elektrische Zugbeleuchtung, Hagen (batteries for railway applications)

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:36pm

ELIN Aktiengesellschaft für Elektrische Industrie

This concern is one of Germany’s oldest firms operating in the electro-technical industry and the largest such enterprise based in the Austrian provinces. It origins lie in the efforts of Franz Pichler, and Austrian engineer who in 1893 received a concession to provide electric power for the town of Weiz, in the Styrian region, the Elektrische Zentralstation Franz Pichler; to complement the provision of electrical power to municipalities, Pichler organised a factory for the manufacture of dynamos, Weizer Elektrizitätwerk Franz Pichler. In 1895, Weizer Elektrizitätwerk opened a new electromechanical workshop and extended its production range to include transformers and generators. In 1900, the company moved to Vienna and changed its corporate style to Gesellscahft für Elektrische Industrie, or ELIN. Sales offices were established throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the years before the Great War, and the firm specialised in the manufacture and installation of hydroelectric installations for municipal and industrial customers.

Following the conclusion of the Great War, the firm restructured to conform to the loss of its markets in southeastern Europe. In 1921, the company restructured as a limited liability company, changing its name to ELIN Aktiengesellschaft für Elektrische Industrie. The company continued to expand its operations to include a wide spectrum of electromechanical operations, such as the inauguration of the production of traction drive systems for Austria's first electrical railroad in 1927. In the 1930s, the company's manufacturing activities also included electrical locomotives. By then ELIN had established a number of factories to support its diversified production and had become Austria's leading electromechanical equipment producer. With the unification of Austrian provinces, the company looked to the expanded domestic market and took a leading role in meeting the growing demand for electrical power generation with a steadily expanding range of electromechanical dynamos, generators, transformers, and switching equipment.

It also began a program of expansion. In 1934 it acquired the firm Max Reder Wasserfilter-Bau of Breslau, a specialist in municipal water treatment techniques. With the increased support of the concern, it was able to greatly expand its position in providing turnkey power generation and water treatment facilities in the international market. In 1936 it acquired the firm of Otterburg und Compagnie, a Magdeburg firm that manufactures pumps. In 1938 the concern acquired a majority interest in Deutsche Babcock and Wilcox AG, one of Germany’s largest boilermakers, constructors of thermal power plants and other high-pressure industrial plants. This acquisition gave the firm the ability to meet the demand for electrical power from either hydro-electric or thermal sources.

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:38pm

Bergmann Elektrizitaetswerke AG

Sigmund Bergmann founded his electrical workshop in Berlin’s Moabit district in 1891, producing telephone and telegraph equipment. In the latter 1890s he had expanded the firm’s product range to include dynamos, electric motors and electrical control devices. In 1904 the firm relocated to larger facilities in the district of Wilhelmsruh, which allowed the firm to expand into the manufacture of equipment for electric street and interurban railways and electric locomotives. In 1909 the firm opened its own cable works and began the fabrication of steam turbine generators. It survived the Great War by concentrating on military production, and in the aftermath of the conflict concentrated on its line of turbo-generators and tramway equipment.

In December 1935 the firm merged with the Deutsche Kabelwerke of Berlin through exchange of shares. The latter firm had been founded in 1890 by the brothers Siegfried and Bernhard Hirschmann. It was a large-scale manufacturer of wires and cables for both electrical and mechanical applications. The acquisition of Kabelwerke’s factory in Fürstenwalde-Spree allowed the firm to diversify into the manufacture of small diesel-generating sets for military and civil use.

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:42pm

Brown, Boveri und Compagnie KG

In 1898 the Swiss electrical engineering firm of Brown, Boveri formed a German subsidiary company to undertake the manufacture and sale of its products within the German national territory; originally based in Frankfurt the firm moved its headquarters to Mannheim that same year, where more than four hundred workers were employed in the construction of dynamos, transformers, motors and other equipment for power stations. In 1900 the Mannheim branch was registered under German law with an initial capital of six million marks, all of which was owned by the Swiss parent corporation.

Steam turbines were first constructed in 1903, extending the firm’s ability to construct complete thermal power stations; the first such project was completed in 1904 at the Elektrizitätswerk Chemnitz, where a 400kW power station was installed. Other turbines were supplied for marine use. In 1907 the firm bought the Gußwerke Frankenthal to undertake the casting of components and large sections in copper, tin, zinc and aluminium. Manufacture of electric locomotives was begun in 1908. The acquisition of Kupferwerks Wahlen, of Köln-Riehl, was carried out in 1913; this firm was subsequently reorganised and expanded as the Rheinische Draht und Kabelwerke.

The firm was heavily involved in the production of war material during the period 1914-1917, supplying turbines and other equipment to the Kaiserliche Marine as well as producing a wide variety of other munitions for the War Ministry. The loss of government contracts at the conclusion of hostilities laid a heavy burden upon the firm which was not overcome until the early 1920s, when rising demand for electricity saw new orders for power generating equipment awarded to the firm.

The subsidiary firm Bayerischen Brown, Boveri GmbH was organised in 1923 to expand the firm’s production capacity for electric motors for industrial use; the following year the subsidiary Saar Brown Boveri AG, Saarbrücken for the same purpose. From the middle 1920s the firm established itself as one of the leading constructors of large thermal and hydroelectric power plants in the nation – in 1929 it supplied the turbines for the great hydroelectric power station at Ryburg-Schwörstadt, with a total capacity of 35,000 kW. During the 1930s the firm was able to go from strength-to-strength, expanding into the export market for power generation equipment in competition with French, Czechoslovakian and Nordish firms. The firm also further diversified its product line through the introduction of electrical refrigeration equipment for home and commercial use.


Subsidiaries of the firm include:

Bayerischen Brown, Boveri GmbH, München (electric motors)
Rheinische Draht und Kabelwerke AG, Köln-Riehl (electrical cables)
Römmler AG, Spremberg (steel stampings and pressings)
Saar Brown Boveri AG, Saarbrücken (electric motors)

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:44pm

Österreichischen Brown, Boveri Werke AG

The origins of this firm date to 1862 when the Hungarian-born Béla Egger established a workshop of telegraph equipment in Vienna; over the next thirty years this firm grew to encompass three factories – one in Vienna, one in Linz and a third in Budapest. In 1896 the three factories were incorporated in to the Vereinigte Elektrizitäts AG vorm. B. Egger und Compagnie, under the direction of the Niederösterreichische Escompte-Gesellschaft, which became the largest shareholder in the combined firm. In 1907 the Hungarian works was separated as the Vereinigte Glühlampen und Elektrizitäts AG.

The Swiss Brown, Boveri concern had sought to establish a branch in Austria but was persuaded to form a joint venture with the Vereinigte Elektrizitäts AG, which became known as the Österreichische Brown, Boveri Werke. While the Vereinigte Elektrizitäts AG and the Niederösterreichische Escompte-Gesellschaft controlled most of the shares of the new venture, the management of the firm was in the hands of the Swiss partners.

In the years before the outbreak of the Great War the firm quickly became one of the leaders of the Austro-Hungarian electro-technical industry, opening offices in Bucharest, Prague and Trieste. The outbreak of hostilities in 1914 saw many changes in the structure of the partnership. The Swiss parent acquired the shares of both its partners and the Österreichischen Brown, Boveri Werke became a wholly-owned Swiss entity, and in 1916 it acquired from the heirs of Egger a majority shareholding in the Vereinigte Elektrizitäts AG.

As neutral property, the Austrian Brown, Boveri branch was better equipped to weather the breakup of the Hapsburg monarchy, and was able to recover quickly in the 1920s, opening sales offices in Yugoslavia, Romania, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The firm concentrated on supplying electrical motors, dynamos and transformers to both the Austrian home market and to the expanding export market of southeastern Europe. When the Austrian provinces were joined with Germany the firm had more than seven hundred workers employed at its factories in Linz, Graz and Vienna; despite now having equal access to the greater German market the Swiss parent decided to keep its Mannheim and Vienna affiliates separate corporate entities.

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Tuesday, August 5th 2014, 6:58pm

Accumulatorenwerk Hoppecke AG

This firm, based in Brilon near Duisburg, was founded in 1927 by the Köln entrepreneur Carl Zoellner to acquire a lead-acid battery works established by the Dynamit-Nobel concern. He was assisted in this effort by Otto Dörffer, former marketing director of the battery works. The firm, then employing only eighty-four workers, began operations in February 1928, producing commercial quantities of batteries for wireless and automotive applications. The firm expanded rapidly, more than doubling its work force in the first two years of its operations. Among the firm s customers are Daimler-Benz, Ford, Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz, AEG, Siemens, Deutsche Reichsbahn, Reichspost, and municipal power plants; its principal products include emergency and starter batteries for automobiles, batteries for wireless receivers and transmitters, lighting and stationary batteries. The firm has developed a significant export market for its products, and has established a manufacturing subsidiary in Budapest, Hungary, to better serve the market in southeastern Europe.

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Wednesday, August 6th 2014, 2:01am

Elektromaschinenbau Sachsenwerk AG

The firm of Oskar Kummer und Compagnie was formed in 1894 to manufacture equipment for the electric power industry, including dynamos, streetcar motors and high-voltage transmission equipment. After 1903 it diversified into the production of consumer electric products such as refrigerators and vacuum cleaners. In the 1920s the firm developed a lightweight motor-generator that found application on submarines and on aircraft. In 1933 entrepreneur Heino von Amelunxen took control of the Kummer firm and incorporated it as the Sachsenwerk, and entered the field of defence materials. In 1934 the concern acquired the factory of Rupert Rauch in Radeberg, which manufactured air-raid sirens and other signaling devices. The firm of Cruse und Compagnie was purchased in 1938; this firm was a Dresden-based specialist manufacturer of switchgears for naval applications. The concern presently operates factories at Dresden, Niedersedlitz and Radeberg.

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Wednesday, August 6th 2014, 10:52pm

Kjellberg Elektroden und Maschinen GmbH

In 1908, Oscar Kjellberg, general manager of the Nordish firm Elektriska Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget, received Imperial patent no. 231733 "Electrode and procedure for electrical soldering" and is therefore recognised as the inventor of the coated welding electrode. In 1921 Kjellberg established Kjellberg Elektroden GmbH in Berlin together with six German and Swedish partners, for the purpose of manufacturing and marketing the patented welding electrodes. For lack of suitable power sources Kjellberg Elektro-Maschinen GmbH was established in Finsterwalde in 1922. In 1923, the company's first welding generator developed and built in Finsterwalde, and was presented at the Leipzig spring fair. Later that year, the production of welding electrodes started in Finsterwalde.

In 1926, the company adopted the current corporate style, reflecting its current range of products. In 1930, welding converters laid the foundation for the firm’s worldwide success. The fundamentally new concept of these machines was the unification of all components in one housing, including control section and steerable carrier. Later, these converters were further developed into automatic welding machines. Experimental studies on automatic arc welding started in 1934. With the market launch of the automatic welding machines in 1937, mechanised welding for industrial purposes was possible for the first time. Kjellberg offered three technological options for mechanised welding: with exchangeable electrode head for endless welding of rod electrodes, with welding head for bare wire coils and with carbon head for thin sheet welding. Significant achievements were the steel construction of the Berlin Tempelhof Airport and the Schlachthofbrücke in Dresden.

Starting in 1935, the electrode pressing method improved the strength of the coating as well as welding quality compared to the previously standard dipping. The first example of this new method is the so-called Kjellberg Hochbau, Germany’s first building with an entirely welded steel frame construction. With its completion in 1936, Kjellberg expanded its manufacturing plant at the headquarters in Finsterwalde. For the five-storey industrial building 460 tonnes of steel was used and approximately 35,000 m of welding seam was formed. In 1941, the patented Kaell-Kjellberg-Lundin method considerably improved the efficiency of metal working. In this technique, a double wire electrode was welded in three arcs simultaneously. At that time, Kjellberg was the world’s largest manufacturer of arc welding technology.

The firm is a leader in the development of welding technology and markets its products around the world.

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Thursday, August 7th 2014, 6:21pm

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen AG

This firm dates its existance from April 1901, but its antecedents go back nearly more than three decades, to 1868, when the engineer Karl Dänner founded a work shop to produce mechanical switches and other apparatus for the newly emerging electrical industry. Upon the death of the founder in 1900 his widow sold the firm to a group of Regensburg investors led by Andreas Scheubeck, a trained electrical engineer. The firm rapidly became a leading supplier to the electrical industry, and in the years dominated the supply of mechanical switch gear to German utility operators. Following the Great War the firm expanded its interests in electrical supply equipment, patenting new designs for switchgear, voltage regulators and other monitoring equipment required by modern powerplants. The firm markets its products world wide, and has agencies in Switzerland, Nordmark, France and the United States; it has recently established a subsidiary in Brazil, Reinhausen do Brasil Indústria Mecánica Limitada, in expectation of increasing sales of equipment to Brazilian power companies.

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Thursday, August 7th 2014, 6:26pm

Lloyd Dynamo Werke AG

The antecedents of this firm lie with the Norddeutsche Automobil und Motorenwerke Aktiengesellschaft, which was established in 1906 by financial interests tied to the Norddeutsche Lloyd shipping firm. This firm manufactured both automobiles, petrol engines and electrical motors. In 1915 the electrical engineering portion of the firm was separated under the leadership of engineer Sigmund Meyer. The firm came to specialise in large DC and AC motors, and pioneered the application of turbo-electric and diesel-electric motors to commercial vessels and warships. By the 1930s the firm was manufacturing DC motors and generators up to several MW of capacity and three-phase synchronous generators, and its CODAS electric propulsion systems had become standard on many of the Kriegsmarine s largest warships. The main works are located in Bremen with several factories in the suburbs of the city.

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Thursday, May 2nd 2019, 1:49pm

Kabelwerk Oberspree AG

This firm, located in Berlin- Oberschöneweide was founded in 1896 as an affiliate of the Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft by Emil Rathenau, the founder of AEG to undertake the manufacture of electrical cables and wires. The factory opened in October 1897 and employed 1,800 engineers and production workers turning out insulated cables, power cables, and micanite insulation products. The range of products expanded to include telephone cables and, in 1903, the first flexible power cables with paper insulation, in 1911 submarine cables for telephone and telegraph use, and in 1928 coaxial cables for use in wireless transmitters. At the present time the staff exceeds 9,100 and the production area 184,000 m².

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Monday, December 2nd 2019, 1:06pm

Memelländische Apparatebau GmbH

In April 1919 the Lithuanian Government established its Postal and Telegraph Department's repair workshops in the city of Klaipeda (formerly Memel) using assets and facilities inherited from C. Lorenz AG. In 1922 it was reorganised as the State Electrotechnical Factory (Valstybinė elektrotechnikos gamykla) and commenced the assembly and manufacture of telephones and telephone equipment under license from the firm of Mix und Genest of Berlin-Schöneberg. Their license included automatic telephone exchanges in both small and large volume. Subsequently the factory diversified into production of wireless receivers for home and government applications, communications equipment for the Lithuanian military, and electric torches.

The outbreak of the long Lithuanian civil war heralded difficult times for the firm, a situation compounded by the transfer of Memel to the Reich under the terms of the Treaty of Stockholm. Though the transition presented many roadblocks the factory, with new management, new capital, and access to wider markets, was soon operating at full capacity under its new corporate style.

The firm continues to manufacture telephone and communications equipment for the civil market and has a preferred relationship with the current Lithuanian Government for the supply of such materials for the reconstruction of damage caused in the civil war. It also has significant market shares of sales in Latvia, Poland, and the Free State of Danzig.