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George Westinghouse

Westinghouse, George, 1846–1914, American inventor and manufacturer, b. Central Bridge, N.Y. In the Civil War he served in the Union army and navy. Among his inventions in the railroad field were a reversible frog, the air brake (1868), and automatic signal devices. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company was organized in 1869 and the Union Switch and Signal Company in 1882. Westinghouse was a pioneer in introducing into the United States the high-voltage alternating current system for transmission of electricity. In 1866 the Westinghouse Electric Company was incorporated. The inventor also patented devices for the transmission of natural gas. Over 400 patents were credited to him in his lifetime.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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