William Comings White

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Comings White (1890–1965) was an electrical engineer.[1] He was research assistant to, and cousin[2] of, the Nobel Prize winning chemist Irving Langmuir at the General Electric research laboratory.[3] He was born in Brooklyn and lived most of his life in Schenectady, NY and lived on Lowell Road in the GE Plot.[4]

He helped to develop the Kenotron and Pliotron, two- and three-electrode vacuum tubes, which could be exhausted to an exceedingly high vacuum.[5]

He was awarded an honorary degree by Columbia University in 1948.[6]

His papers are housed at the Schaffer Library Special Collections Department of Union College.[7]


  1. ^ The American Engineer. National Society of Professional Engineers. 1967. p. 18. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  2. ^ Langmuir, Irving (1960). The Collected Works of Irving Langmuir. Pergamon Press. p. 101. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  3. ^ Birr, Kendall (1957). Pioneering in Industrial Research: The Story of the General Electric Research Laboratory. PublicAffairs. p. 52. ISBN 9780598740366. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  4. ^ Leonard, John William; Downs, Winfield Scott; Lewis, M. M. (1922-01-01). Who's who in Engineering. John W. Leonard Corporation.
  5. ^ Bucher, Elmer E. (1919). Vacuum Tubes in Wireless Communication.
  6. ^ "COLUMBIA DEGREES ARE GIVEN TO". New York Times. 1948-06-02. Retrieved 2008-01-21.
  7. ^ "William Comings White Papers, ca. 1924-1955 | Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation". www.invention.si.edu. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-04.