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At the turn of the century, Eugene II made investments in many countries, in mining, electricity and steel. Most of the company’s exports stemmed from its success in weapons manufacturing. On the eve of World War I, Schneider had risen to the challenge set in 1870 to build cannons as effective as Krupp’s.

Technical breakthroughs and buoyant businesses Eugene’s son Henri Schneider learned from the events of 1870 and recognized the obvious superiority of steel for military use. New processes introduced in the 1860s and 70s yielded a stronger steel at a lower cost. Schneider invocated in iron and steel production and quickly became one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of weapons and infrastructure.