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Death of George Westinghouse

Posted in Anniversary, Technology, Transport on Tuesday, 1 March 2011

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12 March marks the anniversary of the death of American inventor George Westinghouse in 1914.

picture, train, railway, railroad, carriage, crossing, horse

A disaster narrowly averted, thanks to George Westinghouse

Born in New York in 1846, Westinghouse was one of Thomas Edison’s main rivals in the early implementation of electrical systems. Westinghouse, backed by the research of Nikola Tesla, supported the alternating current system which eventually prevailed.

At the age of 22, Westinghouse invented a railroad breaking system using compressed air which allowed brakes on all cars to be applied and released simultaneously. As a failsafe, should the pipe rupture of become disconnected, the brakes would be applied throughout the train.

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