George Westinghouse
external image 180px-George_Westinghouse.jpg[October 6th, 1846- March 13th, 1914]
[Early Westinghouse] George Westinghouse was born on October 6th, 1846 in Central Bridge, New York. He was raised in Schenectady which at the time was known for manufacting agricultural machinery. His first career was as a soldier in the Civil War serving as a private in the calvary. In 1864 he was made Acting Third Assistant Engineer in the Navy. When he returned home in 1965 Westinghouse attended Union College for a few years. After his college days he began working for his father at a family owned business making agricultural machines and steam engines.[Revolution of the Air Brakebrake_truck_front_slack-adj.jpg]His interest in machinery grew during his time at the shop. His first patent was for a rotary engine in 1865. This was the beginning of his career as an inventor. Inventions that followed were devices that helped the railroad industry such as the device that fixed derailed freight cars. Almost directly after this invention was the beginning of the air brake which Westinghouse introduced in 1869. The air brake was a huge evolution for transportation on the railroads. This was the safest way for trains to travel; so safe that this brake was mandatory on all trains. in 1893 by the Railroad Safety Appliance Act.[Westinghouse Air Brake Company]r9793.jpgWestinghouse gained a large amount of money from this invention. The popularity for these inventions grew and led to his first company in 1869, Westinghouse Air Brake Company. In 1880 he saw a demonstration for electric lighting created by Thomas Edison. Immedietly he realized what a great invention it was but also saw problems that could be fixed. Edison did not see what Westinghouse was seeing and therefore ingnored the problems. Later, after some adjustments, Westinghouse provided electricity to GreatBarrington, Massachusettes. Westinghouse then moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he founded the Union Switch and Signal Company in 1881 and the Westinghouse Electric Company in 1886. These companies were based from railroad safety now focused on having electricity in communites. The success that came from Westinghouse's improvements of Edison's lamps for light began the War of Currents between the two and Westinghouse's business partner Nikola Tesla. By the 20th Century, he owned nine manufacturing companies in the United States, one in Canada, and five in Europe. By the time of his death in 1918, he had 361 patents under his name.

War of the Currents Link:

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