Reference Entry

Westinghouse, George

Edward L. Lach, Jr.

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780195082098
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1001734
Westinghouse, George

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Westinghouse, George (06 October 1846–12 March 1914), inventor and manufacturer, was born in Central Bridge, Schoharie County, New York, the son of George Westinghouse and Emeline Vedder, farmers. In 1856 his father, blessed with mechanical aptitude, relocated the family to Schenectady, New York, where he formed G. Westinghouse & Company. The firm manufactured agricultural implements, and its machine shop provided young Westinghouse with his first opportunities for mechanical experimentation. Westinghouse divided his time between attendance at local schools and tinkering in his father’s shop. He produced his first invention, a rotary engine, by the age of fifteen. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, however, he followed the example of two older brothers and ran away from home to join the Union army. He briefly served with the Twelfth Regiment, New York National Guard, before his parents forced him, because he was still only fifteen, to return home. Finally able to sway his parents to his wishes, Westinghouse joined the Sixteenth Regiment, New York Cavalry, in 1863. He resigned from the army in December 1864 to join the Union navy, where he served as acting third assistant engineer aboard the USS ...

Reference Entry.  1569 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Electrical Engineering ; Engineering and Technology ; Transport Technology and Trades ; Transport

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