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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Fighting for Control: Multiple Unit, the South Side Elevated Railroad, and the Formation of Sprague Electric Company

Fighting for Control: Multiple Unit, the South Side Elevated Railroad, and the Formation of Sprague Electric Company

Chapter:
(p.144) (p.145) 5 Fighting for Control: Multiple Unit, the South Side Elevated Railroad, and the Formation of Sprague Electric Company
Source:
Engineering Invention
Author(s):

Frederick Dalzell

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262042567.003.0006

This chapter examines Frank Sprague's development of the basic components of the multiple-unit (MU) system of railroad control during the period from 1895 to 1898. It explains that the MU system equipped electric traction for urban mass transit and discusses Sprague's founding of the Sprague Electric Company (SEC) as a way to commercialize the technology. The chapter suggests that the MU system was Sprague's most ambitious yet to engineer technology, and that the SEC was his most delicate feat of entrepreneurship.

Keywords:   Frank Sprague, multiple-unit system, railroad control, electric traction, urban mass transit, Sprague Electric Company, engineering technology

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