Skip Navigation

Krupp - Development to a major group

Drawing by Alfred Krupp for the production of seamless railway tires, ca. 1853
Drawing by Alfred Krupp for the production of seamless railway tires, ca. 1853

From 1850 Alfred Krupp as sole proprietor succeeds in expanding the business into an important steel company. The advent of the railways opens up new applications for Krupp's durable cast steel. Alongside axles and springs, these include above all the seamless and thus fracture-proof railway tire developed by Alfred Krupp. In 1875 Krupp chooses three superimposed railway tires as his company logo, which becomes known throughout the world. In 1859 he breaks into artillery production with an order from the Prussian military authorities for 300 gun barrel ingots.

After four years of trials, in 1897 the first diesel engine was introduced jointly by Rudolf Diesel, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg and Krupp. The second engine from Krupp was presented to the public at a Munich exhibition in 1898.
After four years of trials, in 1897 the first diesel engine was introduced jointly by Rudolf Diesel, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg and Krupp. The second engine from Krupp was presented to the public at a Munich exhibition in 1898.

Through extensive traveling, the establishment of representative offices and participation at world exhibitions, the company develops new markets all over the world. Steel production is made profitable by the early introduction of new production methods such as the Bessemer process (introduced in 1862) and the open hearth process (1869). Alfred Krupp meets the company's rapidly growing raw materials requirements by acquiring ore and coal mines and steel mills. In 1862 he appoints an accountable management board.

His only son Friedrich Alfred Krupp (1854-1902) continues to expand the company into a vertically and horizontally integrated enterprise. The acquisition of the Grusonwerk in Magdeburg in 1892/93 lays the foundations for Krupp's plant construction activities, while the takeover of Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG Germania in Kiel in 1896/1902 provides access to the shipbuilding sector. The group's pig iron and steel base is expanded in 1897 with the integrated iron and steel mill in Rheinhausen.

The Fried. Krupp cast steel factory in Essen in 1912. After a painting by Otto Bollhagen, Bremen
The Fried. Krupp cast steel factory in Essen in 1912. After a painting by Otto Bollhagen, Bremen

Bertha Krupp (1886-1957), the elder daughter of Friedrich Alfred Krupp, is sole heiress to the company upon her father's death. On the basis of a testamentary recommendation the company is converted to a stock corporation in 1903. With the exception of 4 shares as required by law, the stock remains in the possession of the heiress. Following his marriage to Bertha Krupp, in late 1906 Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach (1870-1950) is made deputy chairman, then from 1909 to 1943 chairman of the supervisory board of Fried. Krupp AG. The expansion of the company continues. 1912 sees the development of stainless, acid-resistant steel grades which quickly find use in a variety of applications. The NIROSTA and V2A brands are still well known today.

To the top