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Friedrich Krupp, Therese Krupp

Friedrich Krupp (July 17, 1787 - October 8, 1826), Therese Krupp (August 28, 1790 - August 3, 1850)

The first records of the Krupp family in Essen date back to 1587. Members of the family generally pursue careers in commerce and local government. Friedrich Krupp, whose father died in 1795, only attends grammar school up to the age of 14 before serving a commercial apprenticeship - partly in the grocery store run very successfully by his business-minded grandmother Helene Amalie Krupp (1732 - 1810). From 1805 he acquires a basic knowledge of metallurgy in the "Gute Hoffnung" iron mill owned by his grandmother. In mid-1807 she transfers ownership of this mill to him, but reverses this decision a year later because of his lack of success. In 1808 Friedrich Krupp marries Therese Wilhelmi, daughter of the Essen merchant Johann Wilhelmi. Over the next few years four children are born: Ida (1809 - 1882), Alfred (1812 - 1887), Hermann (1814 - 1879) and Friedrich (1820 - 1901). From 1808 Krupp, together with co-owners, runs a store selling Dutch produce and after the death of his grandmother in 1810 takes over her grocery store. However, soon afterwards he abandons these stores to concentrate on cast steel production.

Friedrich Krupp (1787-1826)
Friedrich Krupp (1787-1826)

On November 20, 1811, during Napoleon's Continental Blockade of Britain, Friedrich Krupp establishes a factory with two partners for the making of English cast steel and all products thereof. From 1816 he runs the operation on his own and develops a process for the manufacture of high-quality crucible steel which he sells in the form of bars, rods, tanner's tools, coining dies and unfinished rolls. The quality of his cast steel is confirmed by the Düsseldorf mint in 1817. However, Friedrich Krupp is unable to build on this initial success and secure the firm's long-term profitability. The building of a new factory eats into the firm's capital so that he is unable to satisfy demand for products in the required quality. Friedrich Krupp is very committed to the city and plays an active role in local government. In the final years of his life his work is affected by ill health. When Friedrich Krupp dies in 1826, crucible steel production has almost come to a standstill. With the support of her oldest son Alfred and other relatives, Friedrich's widow Therese continues the company of which she remains the proprietor until 1848.

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