Alfred Escher

Politician and Railroad Entrepreneur
Born Feb 20, 1819

Johann Heinrich Alfred Escher vom Glas, known as Alfred Escher was a Swiss politician, business leader and railways pioneer.

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Alfred Escher.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Alfred Escher.


1819 Birth Born in 1819.


1831 12 Years Old When the family moved into the house in 1831, Heinrich Escher was able to devote himself fully to his passion for botany and his entomological collection. … Read More
1835 16 Years Old Escher attended the Zurich Obergymnasium high school from 1835 to 1837. … Read More
1837 18 Years Old During his studies, Escher became involved in the Zofingia student society, which he joined in 1837.


1839 20 Years Old He served as president of the society’s Zurich section in 1839/40 and in September 1840 became overall president of the whole society. … Read More
1843 24 Years Old Following his return to Zurich in the summer of 1843 Escher devoted himself to a number of academic projects. … Read More
1844 25 Years Old 1 More Event
In February 1844 he gave a trial lecture, whereupon the University governing council appointed him as a lecturer in the Faculty of Political Science. … Read More
1845 26 Years Old In 1845 and 1846 Escher took part in the Federal Council of Cantonal Representatives (Tagsatzung) in Zurich as Third Envoy, which brought him into contact with Switzerland’s leading politicians.
1847 28 Years Old In 1847 Escher was appointed as Zurich’s Chief Administrator, and in the summer of 1848 he was elected to the cantonal government. … Read More
1848 29 Years Old On 15 October 1848 Escher was elected to the National Council and was appointed its Vice-President on 7 November 1848. … Read More


1849 30 Years Old …  With these words uttered in late 1849 Alfred Escher expressed his concern that modernity risked passing Switzerland by. … Read More
1852 33 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1852 Escher helped push through a railway law drafted entirely in line with his own conceptions: railway construction and operation would be left to private companies. … Read More
1854 35 Years Old From 1854–1882 Escher was vice-chairman of the Federal School Council, the governing body of the Polytechnic Institute. … Read More
1856 37 Years Old In 1856 he succeeded in establishing a new bank, Schweizerische Kreditanstalt (now known as Credit Suisse), primarily for the purpose of securing financing for his own rail company, the Swiss Northeastern Railway. … Read More
1857 38 Years Old …  In 1857 Alfred Escher married Augusta Uebel (1838–1864). … Read More


1871 52 Years Old 1 More Event
This process prompted irate investors to heap criticism on Alfred Escher, even though he had already resigned from his position as chairman of the Northeastern Railway board in 1871. … Read More
1878 59 Years Old Escher was exposed to increasingly vociferous criticism, prompting him to resign as chairman of the Gotthard Rail Company in 1878.


1880 61 Years Old When the builders of the Gotthard tunnel broke through in 1880, he was not invited to attend. … Read More
In late November 1882 he fell badly ill again. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.