Siemens AG is a German engineering conglomerate that is the largest in Europe. Siemens has international headquarters located in Berlin, Munich and Erlangen, Germany. The company has three main business sectors: Industry, Energy, and Healthcare; with a total of 15 divisions.
Worldwide Siemens and its subsidiaries employ approximately 420,800 people in nearly 190 countries and reported global revenue of 76.651 billion euros for the year of 2009. Siemens AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since March 12, 2001.
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Siemens & Halske was founded by Werner von Siemens on 12 October 1847. Based on the telegraph, his invention used a needle to point to the sequence of letters, instead of using Morse code. The company, then called Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske, opened its first workshop on October 12.
In 1848, the company built the first long-distance telegraph line in Europe; 500 km from Berlin to Frankfurt am Main. In 1850 the founder's younger brother, Carl Wilhelm Siemens started to represent the company in London. In the 1850s, the company was involved in building long distance telegraph networks in Russia. In 1855, a company branch headed by another brother, Carl Heinrich von Siemens, opened in St Petersburg, Russia. In 1867, Siemens completed the monumental Indo-European (Calcutta to London) telegraph line.
In 1881, a Siemens AC Alternator driven by a watermill was used to power the world's first electric street lighting in the town of Godalming, United Kingdom. The company continued to grow and diversified into electric trains and light bulbs. In 1890, the founder retired and left the company to his brother Carl and sons Arnold and Wilhelm.
Siemens & Halske (S&H) was incorporated in 1897, and then merged parts of its activities with Schuckert & Co., Nuremberg in 1903 to become Siemens-Schuckert.
In 1907 Siemens (Siemens & Halske and Siemens-Schuckert) had 34,324 employees and was the seventh-largest company in the German empire by number of employees. (see List of German companies by employees in 1907)
In 1932, Reiniger, Gebbert & Schall (Erlangen), Phönix AG (Rudolstadt) and Siemens-Reiniger-Veifa mbH (Berlin) merged to form the Siemens-Reiniger-Werke AG (SRW), the third of the so-called parent companies that merged in 1966 to form the present-day Siemens AG.
In the 1930s Siemens constructed the Ardnacrusha Hydro Power station on the River Shannon in the then Irish Free State, and it was a world first for its design. The company is remembered for its desire to raise the wages of its under-paid workers only to be overruled by the Cumann na nGaedheal government.