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Friedrich Alfred Krupp, Margarethe Krupp

Friedrich Alfred Krupp (February 17, 1854 - November 22, 1902), Margarethe Krupp (March 15, 1854 - February 24, 1931)

Friedrich Alfred Krupp, the only son of Alfred (1812 - 1887) and Bertha (1831 - 1888) Krupp, a sickly child, is initially taught by private tutors before attending the Burggymnasium grammar school in Essen for two years. Friedrich Alfred Krupp has a keen personal interest in metallurgy and would have liked to study at a technical university. In line with the wishes of his father, however, he joins the firm in 1875, at the age of 21. He is not assigned any definite duties, but instead increasingly assumes a mediating role between his father, who lives an isolated existence in Villa Hügel, and the company's directors. As a result he gains an insight into the entire company and develops tactical negotiating skills. In 1882 he is given powers of attorney and in the same year his father allows him to study at Braunschweig technical university at least for a few months. At his instigation the company sets up a second scientifically oriented chemical laboratory in 1883 which is placed under the management of a lecturer from Braunschweig.

In 1882 Friedrich Alfred Krupp marries Margarethe von Ende, the daughter of the Prussian baron August Freiherr von Ende. She is the fourth of ten children and the eldest daughter. Entrusted with domestic duties from an early age, she attends a girls' secondary school for just two years. Against the wishes of her mother she attends a teaching seminary and takes up work as a governess first in England and then at the court of Saxony-Anhalt in Dessau. Friedrich Alfred Krupp first makes her acquaintance in 1872 when she accompanies her father on a visit to Essen. His own father, Alfred Krupp, initially opposes his son's marriage to a member of the aristocracy, but ultimately relents. Daughters Bertha and Barbara are born in 1886 and 1887.

After the death of his father in 1887, Friedrich Alfred Krupp continues the expansion of the company into a horizontally and vertically integrated Group. To this end the Grusonwerk plant in Magdeburg is incorporated in 1892/94 and the Kiel-based shipbuilding company Schiff- und Maschinenbau AG Germania is purchased in 1896/1902. In 1897 the Group's iron and steel basis is strengthened by the inclusion of the integrated iron and steel mill in Rheinhausen. Friedrich Alfred Krupp expands the range of products to include armored plate, ships, submarines and diesel engines. From 1887 to 1902 the number of employees increases from 20,200 to 43,000.

Friedrich Alfred Krupp, portrait by Ludwig Noster, 1896
Friedrich Alfred Krupp, portrait by Ludwig Noster, 1896
Margarethe Krupp, portrait by Hubert von Herkomer, 1913
Margarethe Krupp, portrait by Hubert von Herkomer, 1913

Friedrich Alfred Krupp has a particular interest in steel production. He introduces scientific steel research at Krupp, thereby paving the way for the successful continued development of stainless steel production. Throughout the Group, including in the newly acquired works, he generously expands the company welfare scheme.

Like his father, Friedrich Alfred Krupp declines a title of nobility. In his political activities, his temporary membership of the Reichstag, and his support of the imperial fleet policy, especially the fleet association, he does not enjoy great success. On the other hand, the results of his research in collaboration with the Naples zoological station into deep sea flora and fauna win him academic recognition.

After Friedrich Alfred Krupp's early and unexpected death, the company is converted into a stock corporation, the shares in which are mostly held by his elder daughter and heiress Bertha Krupp. The company's management is now in the hands of the directors and supervisory board. As Bertha Krupp is still a minor, her mother, Margarethe Krupp, exercises her rights as proprietor until she reaches the age of majority and marries. Margarethe thus becomes head of the company, a task she fulfils with skill and success. She is also involved in the planning and building of the Margarethenhöhe housing estate, which, like the other company benefit schemes, becomes a major lifetime commitment.