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Frank Conrad
Westinghouse traced its history to establishment of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company in 1869. That business was headed by inventor George Westinghouse (1846-1914) and made breaking systems for trains, based on compressed air.
In 1884 he formed the Westinghouse Electric Company (which became the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company two years later). Westinghouse acquired Nikola Tesla's
patents for a polyphase system of alternating current in 1888, challenging Edison's DC-based electrical system. He also initiated long-distance
George Westinghouse
power transmission and hydroelectric generation at Niagara Falls in 1896.
During the First World War, Westinghouse mainly produced military transmitters and receivers. After the war, Westinghouse entered the consumer market with the RA receiver and the DA detector/amplifier (later combined as the RC). 
In 1919 Westinghouse engineer Frank Conrad's Pittsburgh radio station 8XK (later KDKA) received an experimental licence. Westinghouse was one of the founders of Radio Corporation of America (RCA), joining with GE, US telecommunications giant AT&T and United Fruit. It acquired the International Radio Telegraph Co in 1920 and launched commercial radio stations in Philadelphia, Newark, Pittsburgh and other locations.
KDKA Westinghouse studio in East-Pittsburgh, 1925
Westinghouse rode the boom as a manufacturer of major equipment (including locomotives) and appliances. Failure to expand downstream into record and film production or to establish a large-scale broadcast network reflecting regulatory constraints, lack of enthusiasm by key investors and the modus vivendi with competitor GE through the RCA joint venture, RCA encompassed broadcast, recording and film production interests.
Westinghouse emerged from the Second World War as the world's second largest electro technical group, with diverse manufacturing operations.

This page was last edited on 03.12.2016