George Westinghouse.

Essay by wardrooney10 September 2005

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George Westinghouse, Jr., was the son of a man who made farm machinery in New York. Today George is known for being one of the most industrious inventors that ever lived. He helped continue the Industrial Revolution with his determined attitude towards resolving social and commercial difficulties. George's creations changed society's life. It affected the economy and how one travels.

On October 6, 1846 Westinghouse was born in Central Bridge, New York. From an early age, he had a curious mind and what better to test his creativity in his father's shop. Over a period of time when he was asked to cut some pipe, George started to experiment and in a result he designed a powered device that could cut the pipes automatically in a fraction of the time by hand. Just at age 19, he received his first patent: a design for a rotary engine. A year from then, Westinghouse did not know he would find his destiny.

In 1866, while Westinghouse was riding a train and suddenly the train stopped vigorously to avoid a collision just tracks ahead. Investigating the area, he started to think about safer ways to stop heavy trains. He knew that something must be done and he started to experiment with a new type of braking system. At 22 years of age, he developed the air brake, a device that stopped trains using compressed air.

By 1881, he had invented the first automatic, electric block signal. It was a device designed to avoid collisions, save lives, and help move rail traffic. Westinghouse's safety devices boosted passenger's confidence and provided much success to rail owners. From discoveries he found from his backyard George figured out a way to transmit clean, natural gas to homes. It was used for lighting and heating and...