NYSSPE’s Engineer of the week features George Westinghouse, an American entrepreneur and engineer. He was born on October 6, 1846 in Central Bridge, New York. Westinghouse invented the railway air brake, the rotary steam engine, and was a pioneer in the electrical industry.
During his time, he was a major rival with Thomas Edison and lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two were involved in the early implementation of the American electricity system. Ultimately, Westinghouse’s use of an alternating current electricity distribution system succeeded over Edison’s direct current idea.
Westinghouse received two notable awards during his time, the John Fritz Medal in 1906 and AIEE’s Edison Medal in 1911 “For meritorious achievement in connection with the development of the alternating current system”. His employees and fellow engineers continued to honor him after his death in 1914. The Westinghouse Park which houses the Westinghouse Memorial built in 1930 can be found in Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.
Photo Reference: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division , call number “BIOG FILE – Westinghouse, George, 1846-1914
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