Hydroelectric Power at Niagara Falls
A system that can transmit electrical power doesn't work if you can't generate enough of it to power a city. Westinghouse was a visionary here as well. Using the work of Nikola Tesla, Westinghouse built the first hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls, N.Y. The plant generated power for nearby Buffalo, only 22 miles (35 km) away from the power plant. This was the furthest electricity had ever traveled from its source.
Even after that, Westinghouse didn't stop innovating -- and neither did his company. The Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company created products ranging from the electric locomotive to the electric kitchen stove. Westinghouse also owned the first commercial radio station and the first commercial radio broadcast. By the 1920s, the company was experimenting with television technology while also building massive motors to power industrial sites and maritime motors for ships.
These top five George Westinghouse inventions are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the contributions to modern American life that he and his companies made.
- Invention Dimension. "Inventor of the Week: George Westinghouse." Lemelson-MIT Program. October 1998. (Accessed December 27, 2010)http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/westinghouse.html
- Lee, Jennifer 8. "Off Goes the Power Current Started by Thomas Edison." NYTimes.com. City Room, November 14, 2007. (Accessed Jan. 7, 2011)http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/14/off-goes-the-power-current-started-by-thomas-edison/
- Westinghouse Nuclear. "George Westinghouse." (Accessed December 27, 2010) http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/Our_Company/history/george_westinghouse.shtm
Rube Goldberg made one-of-a-kind contraptions. HowStuffWorks looks at the man and his machines.