Born February 1, 1828 in Langnau, Switzerland,Meyer Guggenheimwas an American industrialist and philanthropist who developed mining interests around the world who, by merging with the American Smelting and Refining Company in 1901, dominated the industry for the next three decades and laid the foundation for today’s US mining industry.
After emigrating to the United States from Switzerland in 1847,Meyer Guggenheimbuilt an import business in Philadelphia, specializing in Swiss embroidery. In the early 1880s, it acquired interests in two Colorado copper mines. Realizing its potential value, he eventually invested his entire fortune in the mines; his seven sons, especially Daniel Guggenheim, oversaw the acquisition and operation of foundries.
In 1891, theGuggenheimsthey formed a trust, consolidating about a dozen of their refining operations under the name Colorado Smelting and Refining Company. In 1901 they assumed leadership of the American mining industry by taking control of the American Smelting and Refining Company, a trust made up of the largest metal processing plants in the country. Under Daniel’s leadership, the trust acquired mines in distant lands such as Alaska, Bolivia, Chile and the Congo.
In 1925, the sixth child ofMeyer GuggenheimSimon Guggenheim (1867-1941), established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in memory of his son to provide scholarships to assist artists and scholars studying abroad.
Solomon Guggenheim (1861-1949), the fourth son ofMeyer Guggenheim, founded in 1937 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for the Advancement of Art, which operates the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Guggenheim SoHo Museum in New York City, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao. , Spain, among others.