Original Document
Original Document
"GEORGE WESTINGHOUSE, JR. How He Has Been Rewarded for His Ingenuity," 1887.

The Westinghouse air brake has carried the name of its inventor to every land in which is found the iron rail, even the cars of the single railroad in Japan use this brake. Mr. Westinghouse has given his attention to other mechanical appliances until a list of his inventions covered by patents now number 1,000. The subject to which he has given his latest attention is the utilization of natural gas, and in this he has so well succeeded that gas is about the only fuel burned in Pittsburg.

It is only fifteen years since Mr. Westinghouse began the manufacture of his own inventions; today his factories are located on two continents, giving employment to between 3,000 and 4,000 men. About 1872 the Westinghouse air brake works were erected at Pittsburg. Two years later branch works were established in England, and since then works have been built at Paris and in Germany.

After his brake manufactories were organized so the whole railway world could be supplied with his invention, Mr. Westinghouse turned his attention to other fields. The Union Switch and Signal company next came into existence, followed by the Westinghouse Machine company, later the Philadelphia Natural Gas company and about a year ago the Westinghouse Electric Light company. In all of these enterprises Mr. Westinghouse is the controlling spirit. The number of men employed in the different works is about as follows: The air brake company employs about 1,500, the Union Switch company 350 men, the machine company 150 and the electric company 300. The number employed by the natural gas company varies from about 400 in winter to 2,000 in summer or the pipe laying season.

Many people have an idea that Mr. Westinghouse struggled from poverty to his present millions. This was not the case. He is the son of a Schenectady, N.Y., manufacturer of agricultural implements. He graduated from Cornell in 1861. He enlisted in the civil war first as engineer on the war ship Mustwetah and afterward as a member of a New York cavalry regiment. His experience in repairing railroad wrecks after Confederate raiders suggested to him a device for replacing derailed cars. This was the beginning of his career as an inventor. He settled in Pittsburg and has since lived there.

Mr. Westinghouse's home is situated just outside the Pittsburg city limits. It is misnamed "solitude," for Mrs. Westinghouse is a most charming hostess and their residence is the scene of many and brilliant social gatherings. Receptions are held every Friday and the Westinghouse dinner parties are said to be elegance itself. Mrs. Westinghouse was a Miss Walker of New York. She has but one child, a boy of 3 years.

Credit: Westinghouse, 1887
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