A Life of George Westinghouse

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Page 321 - The Bessemer invention takes its rank with the great events which have changed the face of society since the Middle Ages. The invention of printing, the construction of the magnetic compass, the discovery of America and the introduction of the steam engine are the only capital events in modern history which belong to the same category as the Bessemer process.
Page 24 - ... that their devices preceded his or that theirs were more comprehensive or effective. Various litigants filed thousands of papers to prove their points. Several of those suits were combined in 1875 and threatened the very foundation of Westinghouse's efforts and business. A Cleveland-based judge agreed that "Westinghouse was not the first to conceive the idea of operating railway brakes by air pressure" and that he "was not the inventor of the larger part of the devices employed for such purposes.
Page 115 - As an illustration of the wonders of the laws of nature, few inventions or discoveries with which we are familiar can excel the static transformer of the electrical energy of alternating currents of high voltage into the equivalent energy at a lower voltage. To have discovered how to make an inert mass of metal capable of transforming alternating currents of 100,000 volts into currents of any required lower voltage with a loss of only a trifle of the energy so transformed, would have been to achieve...
Page 321 - Of all inventions, the alphabet and the printing press alone excepted, those inventions which abridge distance have done most for the civilization of our species. Every improvement of the means of locomotion benefits mankind morally and intellectually as well as materially, and not only facilitates the interchange of the various productions of nature and art, but tends to remove national and provincial antipathies...
Page 9 - Be paid. as the second: for there is a. youth in thoughts, as well as in ages; and yet the invention of young men is more lively than that of old, and imaginations stream into their minds better, and, as it were, more divinely.
Page 309 - Exposition was not Darwin's forte and his English is sometimes wonderful. But there is a marvellous dumb sagacity about him — like that of a sort of miraculous dog — and he gets to the truth by ways as dark as those of the Heathen Chinee.
Page 264 - Mr. Westinghouse's conception of what should have been done was faultless. It was his misfortune that he was a quarter of a century ahead of the times. If Great Britain had accepted his advice countless millions of waste would have been saved. It will now be necessary to scrap enormous investments in un-economical plants to make way for the carrying out of Mr. Westinghouse's plan.
Page 67 - The pressure with which the brake-blocks are applied to the wheels should be as high as possible, short of the point which would c.ause the wheels to be skidded and to slide on the rails. 3rd. The rotation of the wheel is arrested as soon as the friction between the brake-block and the wheel exceeds the adhesion between the wheel and the rail ; and therefore the amount of pressure which should be applied to the wheel is a function of the weight which the wheel brings upon the rail. The value of this...
Page 281 - I have . . . purchased this block of stock and propose to put it into the hands of a board of trustees having no connection with Wall Street, with power to vote it for the election of directors — as to twenty-eight of the fifty-two directors, in accordance with the instructions of the policyholders of the Society, and as to the remaining twenty-four directors in accordance with the uncontrolled judgment of the trustees. This division of twenty-eight and twenty-four is in accordance with a plan...
Page 54 - ... to two conclusions: First. That the best type of brake for long freight trains is one operated by air and in which the valves are actuated by electricity. Second : That this type of brake possesses four distinct advantages : a. It stops the train in the shortest possible dtstance. b. It abolishes shocks and their attendant damage to equipment. c. It releases instantaneously. d. It can be graduated perfectly.

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