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British Industrial History

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Carl Frederik Tietgen

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Carl Frederik Tietgen (1829-1901)

1903 Obituary [1]

CARL FREDERIK TIETGEN, who died on the 19th of October, 1901, was born at Odense on the 19th of March, 1829.

He was educated for the most part in England, and worked for some years in Manchester.

Having returned to Copenhagen in 1855, he became a few years later the managing director of the Privat Bank, which was founded about that time. He devoted much thought to submarine telegraphy and was actively associated in the work of the North Atlantic Telegraph Company, which was founded in March, 1866, to carry out his scheme for the establishment of telegraphic communication between the Northern part of Europe and America, via Iceland and Greenland, but the British Atlantic Cable was laid shortly afterwards, and the Danish Atlantic Cable was not proceeded with.

Mr. Tietgen's attention was then devoted to the laying of cables between the Northern countries of Europe and this country, and in this work he was associated with Mr. H. G. Erichsen of Copenhagen, and Mr. J. Newall of Gateshead.

Commencing in 1867, three companies were formed, the Danish-Norwegian-English Telegraph Company, the Danish-Russian Company, and the Norwegian-British Company. The first of these, with Mr. Tietgen as Chairman, laid a cable between Denmark and England, the second a cable between Denmark and Russia.

The three companies, in 1869, amalgamated under the name of the Great Northern Telegraph Company of Copenhagen and, at that time, owned over 1,000 miles of cable.

In 1870, Mr. Tietgen formed the Great Northern Telegraph China and Japan Extension Company, which was also merged in the Great Northern Telegraph Company. He was Chairman of the latter company from the first up to 1897, when, owing to failing health, he found it necessary to retire from active duties. Even then, however, he did not severe his connection with the company, but accepted the position of Honorary Chairman.

Mr. Tietgen occupied a most distinguished position in Denmark, having been closely identified with the development of the country and of its enterprises; and in due time became a Privy Councillor. He also received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog.

He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 29th of March, 1872.

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