The textile merchant Robert Held who is only 27 years old becomes aware of the Lorenz factory held for sale through a newspaper advertising and takes over the factory for the price of 50,000 Deutschmark. Held reorganises the company based on business aspects. Alfred Lorenz works as the company’s chief technical officer.
1893 The telephone finds its way into everyday life
Held takes over the small but tradition-rich Telegraphen-Bauanstalt C.F. Lewert in Berlin, Luisenufer 11. With the help of approximately 30 employees, Lewert manufactures Morse telegraphs and telephones for the Reichspost and thus acquires another major customer besides the railway business. For many years, telephony has been regarded as a promising field. From the modest beginnings in the 1880s, the number of telephone lines in Germany reached 300,000 at the turn of the century – far more than in any other European country.
1893-98 An international market
The Compagnie Française pour l’Exploitation des Procédés Thomson-Houston established in Paris is one of the core businesses of what was later to become the Thales Group. In 1898, the Compagnie Générale d’Électricité (CGE), the later Alcatel, is found. Electrical engineering and the electrical industry also dynamically grow in France. They increasingly remove steam power and railway as the driving forces for innovation and growth. The international market is characterised by competition but also cooperation – long before our globalisation.
1895 Revolutionary technology
Guglielmo Marconi from Italy successfully accomplished the first radio transmissions over a distance of only a few thousand metres. Researchers from other countries are also working successfully on practical applications of the electromagnetic waves proven by Heinrich Hertz. Within a few years, the new “radio telegraphy” will reach transatlantic ranges and revolutionise telecommunications. In 1909, Marconi and the German physicist Ferdinand Braun will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
1898 Strong growth
Between 1890 and 1898, Lorenz consistently grows thanks to Held’s commercial talent and the recommendation of the influential telegraph inspector Hermann Hattemer. An active marketing including trade fair participations and articles in the trade press established its reputation far beyond the German borders. The number of employees increase sevenfold from 30 up to 200, so the company has to move again.