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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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Elusive Control: The Contest with General Electric

Elusive Control: The Contest with General Electric

(p.173) 6 Elusive Control: The Contest with General Electric
Engineering Invention

Frederick Dalzell

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the market competition faced by Frank Sprague's Sprague Electric Company (SEC). It explains that after the company had staged the operational advantages of Sprague's multiple-unit (MU) control system at the South Side Elevated Railroad Company project, both Edison General Electric (GE) and Westinghouse formulated complex responses to the challenge posed by the MU control system. The chapter discusses GE's filing of a patent infringement suit against SEC and highlights GE's eventual acquisition of Sprague's third company.

Keywords:   Frank Sprague, Sprague Electric Company, MU control system, Edison General Electric, Westinghouse, patent infringement, acquisition

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