Amber sells many different pieces of radiology equipment, from MRI machines to CT scanners and C-Arms, from a variety of manufacturers; and Siemens, founded in 1847, is definitely a radiology equipment manufacturer with one of the longest histories. Siemens AG, (AG is short for Aktiengesellschaft, which is a German word meaning corporation,) is a German engineering company headquartered in Berlin and Munich, and is the largest engineering company in Europe. Siemens is split into nine divisions, including Power and Gas, Energy Management, Mobility, and Financial Services, with Healthcare as a separately managed business altogether. Siemens is one of the leaders in healthcare and medical diagnostics and radiology equipment, with its healthcare bringing in 12 percent of the company’s total sales. You might even have a Siemens MRI machine or CT scanner in your facility. Siemens has a fascinating history, so we’ve rounded up five nuggets of Siemens history trivia for you.
1.) Siemens (Siemens & Halske) was founded by Werner von Siemens, a German inventor, and Johann Georg Halske, a German master mechanic, on October 12th, 1847.
2.) Werner von Siemens, the co-founder of Siemens, founded the company based on his telegraph invention that used a needle to point to the right letter instead of Morse code. Siemens was originally called Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske because of this. Werner von Siemens later went on to present the first electric passenger train in 1879, the world’s first elevator in 1880, and helped produce the tubes with which Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen, the inventor of the X-Ray, first investigated them.
3.) During the 20’s and 30’s, Siemens manufactured radios, television sets, electron microscopes, and even built airplanes during World War I.
4.) The first cardiac pacemaker was developed and produced by Siemens, and was installed in a patient with severe cardiac arrhythmia on October 8th, 1958. Today, nearly a million pacemakers are installed worldwide.
5.) Siemens businessman John Rabe was a Nazi Party member; but he is credited with establishing the Nanking Safety Zone, which saved around 200,000 Chinese people from slaughter by the Japanese government during the Nanking Massacre in 1937. After returning to Germany and after the war, he was stripped of his work permit because of his Nazi party membership and lived in poverty with his family. In 1948, however, the citizens of Nanking learned of his situation and raised equivalent to $2000 ($20,000 today,) and even the city mayor himself went to Germany where he bought food for Rabe and his family. The people of Nanking continued to send a food package each month until the communist takeover. His diaries from the Nanking period were published as The Good Man of Nanking, and many films have portrayed him, including the 2007 documentary Nanking, and the 2009 film John Rabe.