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Engineering InventionFrank J. Sprague and the U.S. Electrical Industry$
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Frederick Dalzell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262042567

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262042567.001.0001

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Motive Powers and Mechanisms

Motive Powers and Mechanisms

(p.21) 1 Motive Powers and Mechanisms
Engineering Invention

Frederick Dalzell

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the motivations and inspirations behind Frank Sprague's inventions. It provides information on Sprague's family and educational background, and highlights the influence of the Hoosac Tunnel project and the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia on his path to electrical invention as a career and a life's work. The chapter discusses Sprague's apprenticeship with Thomas Edison's company, which provided him opportunities to exercise both his academic training and his engineering skills, and his admission of his desire for the acclaim of heroic invention.

Keywords:   Frank Sprague, educational background, Hoosac Tunnel project, Centennial Exposition, Thomas Edison, academic training, engineering skills, heroic invention

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