Automotive innovator Henry Ford changed everything

Even if geeks Henry Ford and lifelong friend Thomas Edison invented nothing their innovations changed everythingThe legacy of Henry Ford and his mark on the world of technology in the modern industrial era is significant. There are numerous debates in the realms of geek history as to what credit should be given to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison for various inventions.

People point out that Edison did not invent the light bulb, he was simply a business man. Edison realized that experimentation and research takes money. Edison's first invention was the Universal Stock Ticker in 1869. Edison used the money he earned from the stock ticker to start his "invention factory." Edison paid workers to conduct numerous tedious experiments so he did not have to do the boring manual tasks himself. I think that is pretty genius.

Remarks are made that Henry Ford was not an inventor, he was an industrialist that sold automobiles. While it is true that Henry Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he perfected the assembly line to create lower cost automobiles, and create an industry.

During the modern industrial era from the mid 19th century to the early 20th the world was changing rapidly thanks in part to geeks like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Even if Henry Ford and Thomas Edison invented nothing their contributions to science and technology changed everything.

Henry Ford automotive designer

The son of a Michigan farmer, Henry Ford was a childhood geek who loved tinkering with machinery. When Henry turned 16 years old his father William arranged for Henry to stay with an aunt in Detroit. Henry hoped to find work where he could learn more about machinery. For more than a decade Henry Ford worked in various shops perfecting his skills as a machinist. Henry began working at the Edison Illumination Company as a steam engineer in 1891. After his promotion to Chief Engineer in 1893, Ford had enough time and money to devote attention to his personal experiments on gasoline engines.

George Westinghouse a unique mix of inventor and industrialist

George Westinghouse a unique mix of inventor and industrialistGeorge Westinghouse is often listed as an industrialist or entrepreneur. Many times when people call someone an industrialist, rather than an inventor, they are implying the person was not an inventor themselves, but bought and sold other people's ideas. But George Westinghouse was very much an inventor, and a life long geek who loved to tinker with machinery.

George Westinghouse was the son of a New York agricultural machinery maker, the owner of the G. Westinghouse and Company Schenectady Agricultural Works. As a boy George was not a good student, it is said he was bored in the classroom. He loved mechanics and working in the machine shops of his father's factory. A foreman in his father's shop took an interest in George junior and gave him the tools and encouragement to build water wheels and steam engines in his fathers shop. Later in life Westinghouse said the best education he had was the ability to work in his father's shops.

At an early age Westinghouse worked on various inventions involving rotary steam engines and improving the railway system, at age of 19 Westinghouse was awarded his first patent for a rotary steam engine. Westinghouse moved to Pittsburgh at the age of 21 in search of the steel he needed for his inventions in rail transportation. At age 22 he was awarded a patent for one of his most important inventions, the railroad air brake. This device enabled trains to be stopped with fail-safe accuracy by the locomotive engineer for the first time and was eventually adopted on the majority of the world's railroads. The Westinghouse Air Brake Company was founded on September 28, 1869 by George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The War of Currents

Many articles are written about the great fight between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla over the distribution of electricity in America known as the War of Currents . What is really sad is all the internet hype on Nikola Tesla and the cries of how Tesla is forgotten. The often forgotten man who won the War of Currents against Thomas Edison was George Westinghouse.

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