1823 – Born on April 4th in Lenthe, Prussia (now in Germany). German-born English engineer and inventor, important in the development of the steel and telegraph industries. – Financed by his uncle, he then studied chemistry, physics, and mathematics for a year at the University of Göttingen, where his brother-in-law was a professor of chemistry. 1843 – William traveled to London, arriving in March with only a few pounds in cash. – He sold the process to Elkingtons of Birmingham for £1,600. He returned to Germany to complete his studies. 1844 – Went again to England in February with the intention of selling further inventions. 1847 – William and his brother Friedrich had attempted to apply to industrial processes the regenerative principle, by which heat escaping with waste gases was captured to heat the air supplied to a furnace, thus increasing efficiency. 1851 – His invention, the water meter, began to earn large royalties. 1859 – Married to Anne Gordon, the sister of an engineering professor at the University of Glasgow. – He also received British citizenship. 1861 – William used this principle in his patent for the open-hearth furnace that was heated by gas produced by low-grade coal outside the furnace. 1883 – Died on November 18th in London, England.