The German engineer and entrepreneur made Britain his home, establishing a branch of his family company here. The British branch specialised in the production of glass and from the early 1860s, telegraph cables. The company is associated with major developments in telecommunications and advised the British Government on the formation of its international submarine cable network. He designed a ship, the Faraday, which laid 60 000 km of cable throughout the world and is regarded as the prototype of the cable laying ship. In the early part of the twentieth century, the company tapped into the growing market for electric lighting and power.
Siemens was President of IMechE, the Society of Telegraph Engineers and IET.