In search of the most innovative people in the field of technology I will start with the story of Reginald Fessenden, the Canadian born inventor who once worked for Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse and went on to develop radio and wireless communications.
When asked who invented radio, many names will get tossed out. Starting my career in communications, a name most often mentioned as the inventor of radio was Marconi. Another name often mentioned in the invention of radio is Nikola Tesla, who also once worked for Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. After doing quite a bit of research It was obvious that without a doubt, Reginald Fessenden did more to develop radio than either Marconi or Tesla.
Reginald Fessenden came to America in 1886, hoping to work for Thomas Edison. Fessenden started working for Edison as a junior technician, and eventually became his head chemist.
Ironically, after leaving Edison in 1890, Fessenden would cross paths with George Westinghouse, and helped Westinghouse in defeating Edison in the War of Currents. Westinghouse was impressed with Fessenden and personally recruited him for the newly created position of chair of the Electrical Engineering department at the Western University of Pennsylvania which would become the University of Pittsburgh.
Much of Fessenden's work in developing radio and wireless communications was done while he was chair of the electrical engineering department at Western University of Pennsylvania from 1893 to 1900. Fessenden began experimenting with wireless telephones in 1898, creating a wireless communication system functioning between Pittsburgh and Allegheny City.
On a recent visit to Pittsburgh I stopped by the Westinghouse Castle in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania. It's still there, looking as majestic as ever. I took the photograph of the George Westinghouse Castle that appears in this article. The "Castle" formerly housed the personal office of George Westinghouse and general office of the Westinghouse Airbrake Company.
The Castle is Closed until further notice. According to the Facebook page by the folks in Wilmerding that currently own the castle, they say tours are halted indefinitely. I will definitely be following up on what's happening with the Westinghouse Castle in the future.
I took a drive through Schenley Park to see what was happening with the Westinghouse Memorial, I knew there was a renovation project in the works. Currently the entire area around the Westinghouse Memorial is all torn up and under massive renovation. I am really looking forward to the completion of the Westinghouse Memorial. Dedicated in 1930, the Westinghouse Memorial and Pond in Schenley Park was originally funded by donations by employees of the Westinghouse companies.
The Legacy of George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse was born in Central Bridge, New York, on October 6, 1846. George Westinghouse died on March 12, 1914, in New York City, at age 67. George Westinghouse spent most of his adult life in Pittsburgh, working on safer rail transportation, steam turbines, gas lighting and heating, and electricity.
In his early years George worked in the shops at his father's agricultural machinery factory in Schenectady, New York. George Westinghouse ran off to enlist in the Union army at the age of 15.