1880 - 1914 :
The gathering pace of industrialisation
across Europe brought new involvements for the Rothschilds.
The French took a major interest in the mining of base metals - in
particular copper and nickel - and in England the Rothschilds backed a new
company, The Exploration Company, to seek out mineral sources throughout
With the provision of funding for the creation of De Beers in 1887, the
Rothschilds also turned to investment in the mining of precious stones, in
Africa and India.
For a time too, along with the Nobels, they were at
the forefront of developing oil fields, in Baku and Batoum in south-west
Away from business new family interests grew.
In 1895, Edmond de
Rothschild, youngest son of Baron James, visited Palestine for the first
In the years to come he was to support the founding of a number of
Jewish colonies. His interest in the development of the country continued
until his death in 1934.
In England, Walter, son of the first Lord Rothschild (the first Jewish
peer, created in 1885) began his interest in zoology, which was to produce
one of the world's great collections of specimens, while his cousin Henri
was becoming a leading French expert on infant nutrition.
In 1901, with no male heir to take it on, the Frankfurt House closed
its doors. After more than a century, the Rothschilds severed their
business link with their town of origin. It was not until 1989 that they