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British Industrial History

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Edward Weston

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Dr. Edward Weston (1850-1936), of Weston Electrical Instrument Co

Noted for his achievements in electroplating and his development of the electro-chemical cell, named the Weston cell, for the voltage standard. Weston was a competitor of Thomas Edison's in the early days of electricity generation and distribution.

1850 Born in Oswestry, Shropshire, to a merchant family

c.1857 The family moved to Wolverhampton where Weston became interested in chemistry and mechanical engineering

c.1866 At the instigation of his family he studied medicine but gave this up after about 3 years.

1870 Emigrated to the United States

Took a job in the electroplating industry.

Realizing the need for a constant source of current, he developed an interest in power generation and invented several dynamos and generators.

1873 Made his first experiments with arc lighting using electricity from his dynamo. This led him to develop copper-coated carbon electrodes for the lamps, which were then widely used.

1874 Formed co-partnership with Stevens, Roberts and Havell, of Newark, New Jersey, to exploit Weston's dynamo in all its various applications.

1877 Founded the Weston Dynamo Electric Machine Co, incorporated in New Jersey, to make dynamos which were widely used in electro-plating.

1886 Withdrew from his previous lines of business and built a laboratory behind his house for his investigations, developing the resistance alloys and the standard cell

Co-founded the Weston Electric Light Co in Newark, New Jersey and later won the contract to illuminate the Brooklyn Bridge.

1888 Founded the Weston Electrical Instrument Co in USA

1888 Elected president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers

1900 Electrical instrument manufacturer, living in Essex, New Jersey, USA with Edward F Weston 21, Minnie Weston 46[1]

1920 Employer, in an electrical company, living in Essex, New Jersey, USA with Minnie Weston 66[2]

He held honorary degrees from McGill University, Stevens Institute, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania

1936 Died in New Jersey

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1900 census
  2. 1920 census
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Biographical and genealogical history of the city of Newark and Essex County, New Jersey
  • Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003: New York Times