Westinghouse Electric (1886)

Westinghouse Electric (1886)

Infobox Defunct Company
company_name = Westinghouse Electric Corporation

fate = Sold
successor = Viacom, Inc. (after 1997 renaming to CBS Corporation)
foundation = as Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company (1886) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
defunct = 1999
location = Monroeville, PA
industry = Electronics, etc.
key_people = George Westinghouse, Founder
products =
num_employees =
parent =
subsid =

Founded in 1886 as Westinghouse Electric Company and later renamed Westinghouse Electric Corporation by George Westinghouse. The company purchased CBS in 1995 and was renamed CBS Corporation in 1997. George Westinghouse had previously founded the Westinghouse Air Brake Company.

The company pioneered long-distance power transmission and high-voltage transmission. Westinghouse Electric received the rights for the first patent for alternating-current transmission from Nikola Tesla and unveiled the technology for lighting in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

In addition to George Westinghouse, engineers working for the company included William Stanley, Nikola Tesla and Oliver B. Shallenberger. It was historically the rival to General Electric which was founded by George Westinghouse's arch-rival, Thomas Edison (see "War of the Currents").

The company is also known for its time capsule contributions during the 1939 New York World's Fair and 1964 New York World's Fair.

Timeline of company evolution


;Starting years
* 1886 - Founded "Westinghouse Electric Company"
* 1889 - renames itself the "Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company"


;Alternating currents promoter
* 1891 - build world's first commercial AC system (Ames Hydroelectric Generating Plant)
* 1893 - supplies electric lights and power for Chicago World Fair
* 1895 - installs hydropower AC generators at Niagara Falls which supplied power to Buffalo, NY
* 1899 - founds British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company

1900s to 1920s

;Growth and change
* 1901 - acquires Bryant Electric Company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, which continues operation as a subsidiary
* 1909 - ousts George Westinghouse as chairman during bankruptcy reorganization
* 1914 - acquires Copeman Electric Stove Company in Flint, Michigan from Lloyd Groff Copeman, moves it to Mansfield, Ohio and enters the home appliance market (sold in 1974 to White Consolidated Industries)
* 1915 - New England Westinghouse Company opens for business. First product: Mosin-Nagant rifles for the Czar's army.
* 1916 - share of British Westinghouse purchased by a British holding company, which becomes Metropolitan-Vickers
* 1920s - enters the broadcasting industry, with stations like KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and WBZ (AM) in Massachusetts

1930s and 1940s

;Enters the nuclear age: Industrial atom smasher
* 1934 - opens its Home of Tomorrow in Mansfield, Ohio, to demonstrate Westinghouse home appliances
* 1935 - completes longest continuous electric steel annealing furnace in the world at Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan
* 1930s - funds invention of the magnetohydrodynamic generator
* 1940s - enters aviation with airborne radar (defense electronics sold 1996), jet engine propulsion, and ground based airport lighting.
* 1941 - after years of resistance to the unionization efforts of its employees and to the National Labor Relations Act,cite book | author=Feurer R | title=Radical Unionism in the Midwest, 1900-1950 | publisher=University of Illinois Press | year=2006] signs a national labor agreement with the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America after a US Supreme Court decision that upheld the Act. [cite web | title=Heartland of UE Struggle | publisher=UE | month=Sep | year=2002 | url=http://www.ranknfile-ue.org/uen_0902_distrone.html | accessdate=2008-04-20]
* 1945 - renames itself the "Westinghouse Electric Corporation", and makes first automatic elevator.

1950s to 1970s

;Enters finance: Westinghouse Credit Corporation
* 1960s - acquires ThermoKing, begins automated mass transit (sold 1988); adopts "You Can Be Sure If It's Westinghouse" as advertising slogan for home appliances
* 1970s - sells well-known home appliance division to White Consolidated Industries which becomes White-Westinghouse
* 1979 - sells off all Oil Refineries and closes other civic projects in Iran after the Iranian Revolution.


* 1981 - acquires Cable television operator TelePrompter (sold 1985),
* 1982 - acquires robot maker Unimation
* 1982 - sells street light division to Cooper Lighting,
* 1988 - sells elevator/escalator division to Schindler Group,
* 198? - sells electric lamp division to Philips.
* 1988 - closes the East Pittsburgh plant, which had once been the primary Westinghouse manufacturing facility.
* 1989 - sells watthour meter division at Raleigh, North Carolina to Asea Brown Boveri Group.

1990s to 2000s

* 1994 - sells electric power distribution and control business unit to Eaton Corporation for $1 billion
* 199x - separates IT and phone service sales into Westinghouse Communications division
* 1995 - buys CBS for US$5.4 billion.
* 1996 - buys Infinity Broadcasting
* 1996 - sells Westinghouse Electronic Systems defense business to Northrop Grumman for $3 billion, becoming Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.
* 1997 - sells most non-broadcast operations; renames itself CBS Corporation
* 1998 - sells remaining manufacturing asset, its nuclear energy business, to BNFL which sold it to Toshiba in 2006 which still operates it as Westinghouse Electric Company today.
* 1998 - CBS Corporation creates a new subsidiary called Westinghouse Electric Corporation to manage the Westinghouse brand.
* 1999 - sells itself to Viacom, Inc.
* 2005 - Viacom renamed itself CBS Corporation

ee also

* For other companies named Westinghouse see Westinghouse.
* For the spinoff nuclear energy company see Westinghouse Electric Company.
* Westinghouse Works, 1904
* Westinghouse Broadcasting, also known as "Group W"
* Siemens Westinghouse, also known as Siemens Power Generation, Inc.


External links

* [http://www.westinghousenuclear.com/Our_Company/history/Timeline/index.shtm Timeline of Westinghouse historical events]
* [http://www.post-gazette.com/westinghouse/prologue.asp "Who Killed Westinghouse?"] - Contemporary "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" article detailing Westinghouse's history and break-up
*cite web
title=What Happened to Westinghouse?
publisher=Pittsburgh Technology Council
date=March 1999

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