August Thyssen (1842–1926)

August Thyssen was one of the principal entrepreneurs in the iron and steel industry of the Ruhrgebiet, whose influence spread throughout Europe.

He was born in the mining town of Eschweiler near Aachen. His father Friedrich Thyssen (1804-77) managed a wire rolling mill and was also involved in banking. August Thyssen studied in Aachen, karlsruhe and Antwerp before beginning work in his father’s bank. He founded a company in Duisburg with his brother in 1867, but left it after four years to form, with his father, Thyssen & Co, working a rolling mill near Mulheim-an-der-Ruhr.

From 1877 when his younger brother Joseph Thyssen (1844-1915) joined the company, August Thyssen sought to expand the company in other countries and by the acquisition of other firms in the Ruhrgebiet.

The company began to produce pipes for gas mains, to roll sheet iron, and to operated a galvanizing plant, and in 1883 acquired a neighbouring firm which was the foundation of Meschinenfabrik Thyssen & Co, that became one of the principal mechanical engineering concerns in Europe, known particularly in its early years for its large gas engines. He acquired coal and iron ore mines to supply the company’s furnaces, and when the First World War broke out had interests in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and South America. His home from 1903 was Schloss Landsberg at Essen-Kettwig.