This chapter looks at the beginnings of the Krupp company, which were built out of the substantial investments left behind by the founder Friedrich Krupp's grandmother, Helene Amalie Ascherfeld-Krupp. After her death, Friedrich almost immediately merged his own trading firm into that of his grandmother and liquidated them both in order to concentrate on specialty iron known as Gussstahl or Tiegelstahl (cast steel) production. The venture looked like, and was, a wild speculation, giving up a solid business legacy for something that rested on an arcane and uncertain new mode of fabrication. The chapter traces Krupp's business decisions from that point on, taking note of his partiality for “English steel” as well as the eventual decline of his business later in life.
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