George Westinghouse Fact File: Lifespan: 1846 - 1914 *** Full Name: George Westinghouse, Jr. *** Occupation: American Entrepreneur, Inventor and Engineer *** Date of Birth: He was born on October 6th, 1846 *** Place of Birth: He was born in Central Bridge, New York, USA *** Family background: His father was a machine shop owner *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in New York
George Westinghouse Fact 1: He was born during the 19th century which would see huge changes in science, technology, industry and urbanization.
George Westinghouse Fact 2: The American Civil War began when he was fifteen years old and he enlisted with the New York National Guard.
George Westinghouse Fact 3: He briefly returned home but would re-enlist, this time with Company M of the 16th New York Cavalry and soon earned himself a promotion to corporal.
George Westinghouse Fact 4: He would resign from the Army and joined the Navy and served on USS Muscoota until war ended in 1865 at which point he returned home.
George Westinghouse Fact 5: At the age of nineteen years he would develop his first invention, the rotary steam engine. Shortly after this he put together the Westinghouse Farm Engine.
George Westinghouse Fact 6: When he was twenty one years old a device that would guide a derailed railroad car back on its tracks was his next invention.
George Westinghouse Fact 7: As a result of witnessing a rail crash where the breaking system was inadequate because the breaks had to be hand operated he invented a new breaking system.
George Westinghouse Fact 8: The new system used compressed air. A compressor was installed on the locomotive with a reservoir and a special valve on every car, a single length of pipe, with flexible sections, ran the length of the train allowing for simultaneous breaking on every carriage.
George Westinghouse Fact 9: He patented his design and it was completed by October 28th 1873.
George Westinghouse Fact 10: His next project centered around electrical power distribution. Although Edison had already developed a direct current electrical flow but it was restrictive and only allowed for a limited number of consumers.
George Westinghouse Fact 11: Instead his idea centered around an alternative current which covered more ground and serviced a larger number of consumers.
George Westinghouse Fact 12: In 1886 he formed the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company and in 1889 he renamed it as Westinghouse Electrical Corporation.
George Westinghouse Fact 13: In 1891 he decided to build his own hydroelectric AC plant, the Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant.
George Westinghouse Fact 14: He bought the rights to the Charles Algernon Parsons turbine in 1885 and improved the technology with an increase in the scale.
George Westinghouse Fact 15: Much the same as Edison he was ever practical and experimental.
George Westinghouse Fact 16: One of his other inventions was a compressed air shock absorber for an automobile suspension.
George Westinghouse Fact 17: Although he continued as a captain of industry in America, it was in 1907 that a financial scare led him to resign from major control of the Westinghouse company.
George Westinghouse Fact 18: At a time when the six day working week was normal it was Westinghouse that would introduce the half holiday on a Saturday to all of his employees.
George Westinghouse Fact 19: As of 1911, with his health in decline he was no longer active within the business world.
George Westinghouse Fact 20: On March 12th, 1914 he died at the age of sixty seven years. His body was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery as was his right as a Civil War veteran. He beloved wife Marguerite would only survive him by three months and would be laid with him.
Influence & Legacy: He would ultimately be responsible for revolutionizing the transport industry with his invention of the railroad air brake allowing for safety of not only peoplesí lives as they were using the railroad system for long distance travel but improved overall industrial trade as well. He was also responsible for alternating current which allowed for more people access to electricity in their homes.
Important Events of the 19th century and during the life of George Westinghouse include: The US Congress declare war against Mexico, the Crimean War began, Abraham Lincoln is elected Present and the Great Fire of Chicago broke out.
List of Famous Patents by George Westinghouse:
*** Grain and Seed Winnowers *** Electrical Converter *** Alternating Curren Electric Meter *** Pipe Coupling *** Electric Railway *** Fluid Pressure Automatic Brake *** Electric Railway System *** Gearing *** Elastic-Fluid Turbine ***