Family of Wendel
The family of Wendel has been a powerful industrial line of the Aciérie S of Lorraine present in industry for three centuries.
Wendel is a first name of Scottish origin (holy Wendel or Wendelin established at the 6th century in the area of Truces - town of Sankt-Wendel).
HistoryResulting from a family of officers installed in Lorraine in second half of the 17th century, Jean-Martin Wendel is the son junior by Christian, lord of Longlaville close to Longwy, lieutenant of Cavalerie in the army of the duke Charles IV of Lorraine. In 1704, Jean-Martin Wendel acquires of the forging mills of Rodolphe with Hayange, in the north of the duchy becoming thus the Ironmaster first of the family. The family develops the iron and steel activities considerably during the generations.
At the end of the Old Mode, Ignace de Wendel d' Hayange, artillery officer, founds Creusot with the English engineer William Wilkinson. However, the Revolution constrained Wendel to emigrate; their goods, whose forging mills of Hayange, are sold like national goods. It is François de Wendel who, of return of emigration, repurchases them in 1804 and develops them under the Empire and the Restoration. At the 19th century, the Lorraine iron and steel industry dominated by Wendel reaches a considerable development, grace in particular to the extension of the railroads. The family of Wendel implements an industrial relations policy inspired by her catholic convictions, often qualified Paternalisme.
The war of 1870 ends in the annexation of the Moselle and Hayange is German side. Solicited by a German group, Wendel refuse to sell, in order to maintain the presence French in annexed Lorraine; they found new factories with Jœuf, French side of the border. Two as of theirs will be elected with the Reichstag by a population remained faithful to France, like deputies “protesters”.
At the 20th century, industries of the family of Wendel reach their apogee. François de Wendel, deputy then senator, president of the Committee of the Forging mills, regent of the Banque de France (and thus indicated like belonging to the “200 families”), is regarded as one of the main actors of a preserving policy which fails with the advent of the Popular front. In 1940, refusing to vote the full powerss with the marshal Pétain, it is excluded from the political life.
The shortly after the Second world war, the family of Wendel contributes to the reconstitution of an important French iron and steel pole (industrial merger of undertakings to form Sollac then Sacilor). François de Wendel is thus supported by his two brothers: Maurice and Humbert. It is besides the latter which will be at the origin of the creation of Sollac. The death of the three brothers over one ten years period (François in 1949, Humbert in 1954 and Maurice in 1962) announces the end of the large Masters of the forging mills, whose last will be Henri de Wendel, died in 1982. Thus, weakened by a strict price control and an accelerated growth of production capacities intended to fulfill the requirements of the Plan (factory of Fos-sur-Mer), the Wendel company and Co, become Wendel-Sidelor then Sacilor, pass in 1978 pennies the cut of the State Banks, before being formally nationalized in 1951 to melt in Usinor-Sacilor then Arcelor.
Under the aegis of Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, the house of Wendel since then became an investment company. Wendel Investissement bought thus with the Groupe Lagardere Editis (n° 2 French of the edition) and holds participations in the manufacturer of Legrand electrical material and the international company of certification Bureau Veritas.
- Ernest-Antoine Seilliere
- Francoise de Panafieu
- Albert of Espée
- Humbert Balsan
- Jean-Martin Wendel
- Yves Guéna
- Josselin de Rohan
- Jean-François Poncet
- Hubert Leclerc de Hautecloque
- the house of Wendel
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