The industrial firm Auergesellschaft was founded in 1892 with headquarters in Berlin. Up to the end of World War II, Auergesellschaft had manufacturing and research activities in the areas of gas mantles, luminescence, rare earths, radioactivity, and uranium and thorium compounds. In 1934, the corporation was acquired by the German corporation Degussa. In 1939, their Oranienburg plant began the development of industrial-scale, high-purity uranium oxide production. Special Soviet search teams, at the close of World War II, sent Auergesellschaft equipment, material, and staff to the Soviet Union for use in their nuclear weapon project. In 1958 Auergesellschaft merged with the Mine Safety Appliances Corporation, a multinational US corporation. Auergesellschaft became a limited corporation in 1960.