Benjamin Guggenheim was born in Philadelphia, Oct. 26, 1865, the fifth of the seven sons of Meyer Guggenheim, founder of the famous house of M. Guggenheim & Sons, who came to America from Swltzerland in 1848. Benjamin Guggenheim married Miss Floretta Seligman, daughter of James Seligman, the banker of this city. There are three daughters.
When Benjamin Guggenheim was 20 years old he was sent to Leadvilie, Col., by his father to take charge of the elder Guggenheim's mining interests, which at that time began to be enormously productive. He had been in Leadvilie but a short time when he recognized the possibilities in the smelting business, and it was his keen foresight that started the Guggenheim family in that business---a business that has made a greater part of their vast fortune perhaps than any one other of the various branches of industry in which they have engaged. The first smelting plant was built at Pueblo, and Benjamin Guggenheim took charge of that, conducting it with such success that the family withdrew entirely from commercial business and devoted their energy to the smelting industry.
This success in Colorado led to the building of plants at Aguascalientes and Monterey, and an immense refining plant at Perth Amboy, N. J. Benjamin Guggenheim managed the latter plant for several years. After the consolidation of the smelting industries was accomplished the Guggenheim interests had become so large that they were the ruling factor in the American Smelting and Refining Company, and, having seen his great object an actuality, Benjamin Guggenheim went to Europe for a well-earned rest.
Two years later he returned to this country, and in 1903 built a large plant at Milwaukee, Wis., for the manufacture of mining machinery. Three years later it was merged with the International Steam Pump Company, in which Mr. Guggenheim had been a large stockholder for a number of years. He became Chairman of the Executive Committee, serving in that capacity until January, 1909, when he was elected President. The company had then seven plants in this country and one in England. An army of 10,000 men draws its sustenance from these great ndustrial workshops, whose product is of infinite variety, from the smallest feed pump to the enormous pumping engines capable of supplying a city's mains with 20,000,000 gallons of water daily.
WASHINGTON, April 15---Senator Simon Guggenheim said to-night that his brother, Benjamin Guggenheim, President of the International Steam Pump Company, was on board the Titanic. Mr. Guggenheim, said the Senator, has offices in London and Paris, and went abroad three months ago on business.
"Judging from the reports that women and children were put in the boats first," said the Senator, "I suppose that my brother was one of those left behind. But I know nothing definite."
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(1912) BENJAMIN GUGGENHEIMNew York Times (ref: #3859, accessed 31st October 2014 10:09:08 PM)
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Tuesday 28th September 2004, last updated Friday 31st October 2014.