Max Guilleaume was a member of one of the wealthiest family of entrepreneurs in the city of Köln (Cologne). The family started in the rope, wire and cable industry, and became known worldwide by producing and laying the first overseas cable from Europe to America. In 1900 Max Guilleaume was ennobled to the hereditary nobility. He acquired the Calmuth estate and had it built into a prestigious country house (“Castle Calmuth”) by the architect Otto March, designer of the Olympic Stadium for the scheduled 1916 Berlin Games. He was open to all technical developments, which led to his becoming a pioneer in driving automobiles. He was a successful sailor with the British-built schooner “Clara” and competed, amongst others, in the Emperor’s Cup between Dover and the island of Helgoland. After the death of his wife Clara, he retreated from business and social activities and shot himself, committing suicide on a porch of his country house. It is believed that, in addition to depression after his wife’s death, financial problems in the aftermath of the economic depression led to his suicide.