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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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Mainline Electrification: Eminence and the Challenges of “Retirement”

Mainline Electrification: Eminence and the Challenges of “Retirement”

(p.201) 7 Mainline Electrification: Eminence and the Challenges of “Retirement”
Engineering Invention

Frederick Dalzell

The MIT Press

This chapter examines Frank Sprague's engineering invention activities after the General Electric (GE) Company had acquired his Sprague Electric Company and the patents for his multiple-unit (MU) control system. It explains that GE paid Sprague royalties for the invention and that he was able to retain the Sprague name to describe the MU railway system. Although Sprague no longer needed to work, he did not abandon the field of electrical innovation, and played a prominent role in electrifying the New York Central Railroad, patented a third-rail design, and designed a dual elevator system.

Keywords:   Frank Sprague, engineering invention, electrical innovation, New York Central Railroad, third-rail design, dual elevator system

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