Edwin J. Houston

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Edwin J. Houston
EdwinJHouston.jpg
Born Edwin James Houston
July 9, 1847 (1847-07-09)
Alexandria, Virginia
Died March 2, 1914 (1914-03-03) (aged 66)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of death
Heart failure
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg United States

Edwin J. Houston (1847–1914) was an American businessman, professor, consulting electrical engineer, inventor and author.

Biography[edit]

Houston was born July 9, 1844 to John Mason and Mary (Lamour) Houston in Alexandria, Virginia. He graduated from Central High School of Philadelphia (a degree-granting institution rather than an ordinary high school) in 1864.[1] He received both his Bachelor of Arts and master's degree from the same Central High School, where he then became professor of civil engineering for a short period before holding its chair of Natural Philosophy and Physical Geography. Princeton University awarded him an honorary doctoral degree. He also served as emeritus professor of physics at the Franklin Institute and professor of physics at the Medico-Chirurgical College.[2]

While teaching physics at Central High School in Philadelphia, he helped design an arc light generator with his former student colleague Elihu Thomson. Together, they created the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1879. He served as chief electrician of Philadelphia's International Electrical Exhibition in 1884.

In 1892, Thomson-Houston merged with the Edison General Electric Company to form General Electric, with management from Thomson-Houston largely running the new company. In 1894, Houston formed a consulting firm in electrical engineering with Arthur Kennelly. He and Kennelly had also jointly published a series called "Primers of Electricity" in 1884.

Houston was twice president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (1893–1895).[3] He was a member of the United States Electrical Commission, the American Institute of Mining Engineers, the American Philosophical Society and many others.[4] He also authored books for a series called "The Wonder Books of Science" to include The Wonder Book of Volcanoes and Earthquakes, The Wonder Book of the Atmosphere, The Wonder Book of Light, and the Wonder Book of Magnetism.[5] He died from heart failure in 1914.[6]

Works[edit]

Works by Houston[edit]

(Edited list, drawn from Jan 21, 1911 Electrical Review and Western Electrician p.125)

Works by Houston & Kennelly[edit]

Works with other Collaborators[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Edwin J. Houston Dead". New York Times. March 2, 1914. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "Edwin James Houston". Electrical Review and Western Electrician: 125. January 21, 1911. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Edwin Houston". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Edwin James Houston". Electrical Review and Western Electrician: 125. January 21, 1911. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Edwin James Houston, The Wonder Book of Magnetism Frederick A. Stokes Company (1908)
  6. ^ "Edwin J. Houston Dead". New York Times. March 2, 1914. Retrieved 1 December 2012.