Born for Business, Raised for Science (1845–1865)

  • Gerd Rosenbusch
  • Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)


Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was born in Lennep, a town in the German Rhineland, on 27 March 1845. He remained the only child of the German cloth merchant Friedrich Conrad Röntgen and his wife, the Dutch Charlotte Constance Frowein . In 1848 the family moved to the Netherlands, to the village of Apeldoorn, where young Röntgen grew up. At the age of 17, he moved to Utrecht, a university town in the centre of the Netherlands, to enter the Technical School. This was a unique new type of education, preparing young boys for a technical or business career. Until 1865, he lived with the family of his teacher Dr Jan Willem Gunning . However, as Röntgen was compelled to leave the Technical School without a diploma, he could not enter the Utrecht University. When Gunning left for Amsterdam because of his nomination as Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology, Röntgen remained for a while in Utrecht but finally decided to continue his studies in Switzerland. Gunning had a major influence on Röntgen during his formative years.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerd Rosenbusch
    • 1
  • Annemarie de Knecht-van Eekelen
    • 2
  1. 1.NijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.MaldenThe Netherlands

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