Inventors are inspirational. George Westinghouse was an inventor, businessman, entrepreneur, and engineer. He invented the railway air brake. He is, also, remembered for his work in the electrical industry. He was a rival of Thomas Edison. His electricity distribution system was based on alternating current.
George Westinghouse was born on October 6, 1846 in Central Bridge, New York. His father was a machine shop owner and George showed talent at machinery and business when he was young. When he was fifteen the Civil War broke out and he enlisted in the New York National Guard. In 1863, he reenlisted. In 1864, he resigned from the Army and joined the Navy. He served as Acting Third Assistant Engineer until the end of the war. In 1865, he briefly attended Union College. He invented the rotary steam engine when he was 19. He then devised the Westinghouse Farm Engine. At 21, he invented two devices for trains. Them in 1869, he invented a train braking system using compressed air. It was patented in 1873 and the Westinghouse Air Brake Company was founded to manufacture and sell the system. He invented improvements in railway signals and founded the Union Switch and Signal Company to manufacture and sell his signaling and switching inventions. In 1884, he started developing his own DC lighting system. In 1886, Westinghouse and his physicist William Stanley installed the first multiple-voltage AC power system. Westinghouse Electric Corporation began. In 1891, he built the Ames Hydoelectric Generating Plant.
George Westinghouse stayed interested in a variety of things. In 1889, Westinghouse formed the Duquesne Mining & Reduction Company in Arizona. Westinghouse developed steam turbines for maritime propulsion. The automobile led him to devising a air shock absorber for suspensions. Westinghouse continued to work on inventions throughout his life. He invented practical things and experimented.
George Westinghouse met and married Marguerite Erskine Walker as a young man in 1867. They had one son, George Westinghouse 3rd. They were married for 47 years. They had homes in several states in the United States. George Westinghouse died in 1914 in New York, New York. He and his wife are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Honors and awards have been made for George Westinghouse. Be inspired! Have a bright day!