Ernst Werner, a German inventor, born at Lenthe, near Hanover, Dec. 13, 1816. He entered the Prussian army in 1834, became an artillery officer in 1838, busied himself with researches in electro-metallurgy, and took out in 1841 a patent for electro-plating and gilding. From 1844 he had charge of the government artillery works at Berlin, and also devoted himself to perfecting the electric telegraph. In 1848 he laid at Kiel the first submarine mines exploded by electricity. In 1849 he left the army and founded in Berlin the telegraph-building establishment of Siemens and Halske. Among the more important of Siemens's inventions are: the method of determining the position of injuries in subterranean and submarine lines; of examining insulated wires; of charging subterraneous and submarine conductors, in order to lessen the disturbing influences of induced currents in the cables.
Karl Wilhelm, brother of the preceding, born at Lenthe, April 4, 1823. He studied at Gottingen, entered the Stolberg machine works, and in 1843 settled in London as a civil engineer. In 1858 he undertook the management of a London branch of the firm of Siemens and Halske of which he had become a partner. With his brother Werner he carried on investigations in electro-magnetism, and several important improvements in the manufacture of submarine cables and the mode of insulating with caoutchouc were made by them jointly. Assisted by his younger brother Friedrich (born Dec. 8, 1826), he instituted in 1846 experiments looking to the discovery of a more perfect combustion of fuel. The result wa3 the regenerating gas furnace. (See Furnace, vol. vii., p. 543.) In perfecting this invention all the brothers took part, although the chief merit belongs to Wilhelm. In 1869 the Siemens steel works were erected at Landore in Wales, in which nearly 1,000 tons of cast steel are produced weekly, partly by the Siemens method directly from the ore, and partly from cast and wrought iron. Other inventions of Wilhelm Siemens are: the bathometer, a hydrostatic instrument for measuring depths at sea; the hydraulic brake to prevent the recoil of artillery on ships of war; a pyrometer (see Pyrometer), etc.
He has published dissertations " On a Regenerative Condenser" (1850); "On the Conversion of Heat into Mechanical Effects" (1853); "On a Regenerative Steam Engine" (1856); and " On the Increase of Electrical Resistance in Conductors with Rise of Temperature, and its Application to the Measure of ordinary and Furnace Temperatures" (1871).