Meyer Guggenheim

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Meyer Guggenheim
BirthplaceLengnau, Aargau, Switzerland
Known for Guggenheim family

Guggenheim, Meyer

(1828–1905) financier; born in Langnau, Switzerland (father of Simon and Solomon Guggenheim). He met his wife while emigrating to the U.S.A. in 1848—they would have seven sons. He began as a manufacturer of stove polish, then turned to importing and selling Swiss needlework with his own firm, M. Guggenheim's Sons (1881). By 1888 he had shifted his interest to the mining and smelting of metals. With the aid of his sons, he captured a large share of the world business. He formed the Philadelphia Smelting and Refining Company and won an economic war against the giant American Smelting & Refining Company; his company merged with that giant trust on his own terms in 1901. His sons carried on his tradition of business success and generous philanthropy.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.