Famous 19th Century Electrical Engineers

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 1 
Alexander Graham Bell
(Inventor of Telephone & Co-Founder of 'American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)')
Alexander Graham Bell
10
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 2 
Thomas Edison
(Inventor of Phonograph, Motion Picture Camera and Early Version of the Electric Light Bulb)
Thomas Edison
34
Birthdate: February 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milan, Ohio, United States
Died: October 18, 1931

Described as America’s greatest inventor, Thomas Edison’s legacy is an everlasting one. He was the first to help make the incandescent light bulb commercially viable, even though he was not the first inventor of it. Quadruplex telegraph, phonograph, motion picture camera and the alkaline storage battery are some the many innovations that made him a worldwide phenomenon and an icon.

 3 
Charles F. Kettering
(Inventor, Engineer & Businessman)
Charles F. Kettering
9
Birthdate: August 29, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Loudonville, Ohio
Died: November 25, 1958

Charles F. Kettering was an American engineer, inventor, and businessman. Kettering is credited with founding Delco Electronics Corporation. Holder of 186 patents, Kettering is also credited with the invention of Freon refrigerant for air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Over the course of his career, Charles F. Kettering won prestigious awards like the IEEE Edison Medal, Hoover Medal, and Franklin Medal. 

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 4 
Nikola Tesla
(Inventor, Engineer & Futurist, Who Obtained Over 300 Patents)
Nikola Tesla
17
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

 5 
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
(German Mathematician and Engineer Whose Research on AC Systems Revolutionized the US Electric Industry)
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
9
Birthdate: April 9, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wrocław
Died: October 26, 1923

Though German-born American mathematician and engineer Charles Proteus Steinmetz suffered from a deformed back since childhood, he excelled in math, physics, and classical literature. His ideas on alternating current (AC) systems initiated the electrical era in the US. By the time he died, he had over 200 patents under his name.

 6 
John Logie Baird
9
Birthdate: August 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Helensburgh
Died: June 14, 1946

Scottish inventor, electrical engineer, and innovator, John Logie Baird, is best known for demonstrating a working TV system in 1926. He then went on to invent the first viable purely electronic color TV picture tube and founded the Baird Television Development Company. He was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

 7 
John Ambrose Fleming
(British Electrical Engineer and Physicist Who Invented the First 'Thermionic Valve' or 'Vacuum Tube')
John Ambrose Fleming
5
Birthdate: November 29, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Died: April 18, 1945

John Ambrose Fleming was an English electrical engineer and physicist. He is known for inventing the first thermionic valve or vacuum tube and designing the radio transmitter with which the first transatlantic radio transmission was made. Along with  Douglas Dewar and Bernard Acworth, he helped establish the Evolution Protest Movement. Fleming was also a noted photographer and artist. 

 

 8 
Harry Nyquist
(Physicist, Computer scientist, Engineer, Statistician, Mathematician)
Harry Nyquist
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1889
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kil Municipality
Died: April 4, 1976

Harry Nyquist was a Swedish electronic engineer and physicist best remembered for his contributions to communication theory. His work earned him many prestigious awards such as the IRE Medal of Honor, the Stuart Ballantine Medal, and the Rufus Oldenburger Medal. Harry Nyquist is also remembered for his association with Bell Telephone Laboratories.

 9 
Elihu Thomson
(Engineer, Inventor)
Elihu Thomson
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manchester
Died: March 13, 1937

Elihu Thomson was an English-born American inventor and engineer. He is credited with founding major electrical companies in France, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In 1882, Elihu Thomson founded the Thomson-Houston Electric Company which was renamed General Electric Company in 1892 after merging with the Edison General Electric Company. Thomson is also credited with inventing an arc-lighting system.

 10 
Frank J. Sprague
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Milford
Died: October 25, 1934
 11 
Edith Clarke
(Electrical Engineer)
Edith Clarke
4
Birthdate: February 10, 1883
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Howard County
Died: October 29, 1959
 12 
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
(German-British Electrical Engineer and Businessman)
Carl Wilhelm Siemens
2
Birthdate: April 4, 1823
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gehrden, Germany
Died: November 19, 1883

German-British inventor and electrical engineer, who revolutionized the steel-making and glass-making industries, is best remembered for using the Siemens-Martin process to create the regenerative furnace. His achievements earned him accolades such as the Albert Medal. He was a Fellow of The Royal Society and was knighted shortly before his death.

 13 
Charles F. Brush
2
Birthdate: March 17, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Euclid, Ohio, United States
Died: June 15, 1929
 14 
Hertha Ayrton
(British Engineer, Mathematician, Physicist and Inventor Known for Her Work With the 'Electric Arcs')
Hertha Ayrton
2
Birthdate: April 28, 1854
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Portsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Died: August 26, 1923

Hertha Ayrton was a British engineer,  physicist, mathematician, and inventor. She is remembered for her work on electric arcs and ripple marks in sand and water, for which she was awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society. As a woman in the 19th century, she had to face innumerable struggles in her career. She was also a passionate suffragist. 

 15 
Granville Woods
(Inventor)
Granville Woods
5
Birthdate: April 23, 1856
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: January 30, 1910

Granville Woods was 10 when he began working at a machine shop, while continuing his studies at a night school. He grew up to become a steam locomotive engineer and earned the nickname the Black Edison for his countless inventions, most of which were related to electrical systems for railways.

 16 
Peter Cooper Hewitt
(Electrical Engineer)
Peter Cooper Hewitt
2
Birthdate: May 5, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 25, 1921
 17 
Zénobe Gramme
(Belgian Electrical Engineer Who Invented the Gramme Machine)
Zénobe Gramme
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amay, Belgium
Died: January 20, 1901

Belgian electrical engineer Zénobe Gramme is remembered for inventing the Gramme machine. While he initially worked in an electrical industry factory in Paris, he later collaborated with French engineer Hippolyte Fontaine, to work on his dynamo model. His invention made use of much higher voltages than the standard dynamos back then.

 18 
Pavel Florensky
(Theologian)
Pavel Florensky
2
Birthdate: January 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Yevlakh, Azerbaijan
Died: December 8, 1943

Russian theologian Pavel Florensky is best remembered for his essay The Pillar and the Ground of Truth. During Stalin’s regime and amid a phase of national atheism, he was sent to jail and also banished to Siberia for his religious beliefs, which he refused to renounce.

 19 
Arthur Nielsen
(Market-research executive)
Arthur Nielsen
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: June 1, 1980
 20 
Galileo Ferraris
(Former Physicist, known for alternating current, Rotating magnetic field)
Galileo Ferraris
2
Birthdate: October 31, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Livorno Ferraris, Italy
Died: February 7, 1897

Galileo Ferraris was an Italian university professor, physicist, and electrical engineer. He was one of the pioneers of AC power system. He is also credited to be the inventor of the three-phase induction motor although he never patented his work. He worked at the Italian Industrial Institution and later at the Italian Electrotechnical Association.

 21 
Arthur E. Kennelly
(Electrical engineer)
Arthur E. Kennelly
1
Birthdate: December 17, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Colaba, India
Died: June 18, 1939
 22 
John Hopkinson
(British Physicist and Electrical Engineer Who Invented the Three-Wire System for Electricity Distribution)
John Hopkinson
1
Birthdate: July 27, 1849
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: August 27, 1898

The son of a mechanical engineer, John Hopkinson followed in his father’s footsteps. Remembered for his research on alternating current, the British engineer and physicist developed the three-wire system for distributing electricity. He died in a mountaineering accident in the Alps, along with three of his six children.

 23 
Herman Potočnik
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pula
Died: August 27, 1929

Born into an affluent military family of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Herman Potočnik became a military engineer. His struggle with tuberculosis made him leave the army, after which he delved into rocket science. His only book, The Problem of Space Travel, contained illustrated descriptions on everything from space capsules to spacesuits.

 24 
Otto Blathy
(Electrical engineer)
Otto Blathy
0
Birthdate: August 11, 1860
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tata, Hungary
Died: September 26, 1939

In his 20s, Hungarian inventor Otto Blathy co-invented the transformer and various other engines and motors that are used in AC technology. In spite of being born into an affluent merchant family, he pursued science. Apart from his interest in electrical engineering, he was also known for authoring various chess problems.

 25 
Lloyd Groff Copeman
2
Birthdate: December 28, 1881
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hadley, Michigan, United States
Died: July 5, 1956
 26 
Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti
(British Electrical Engineer and Inventor)
Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti
2
Birthdate: April 9, 1864
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: January 13, 1930

Electrical engineer and inventor Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti was the son of a photographer father and a pianist mother. He had invented an arc light by 13 and an alternator at 18. He contributed to the development of the alternating current (AC) system in Britain and also promoted electrical generating plants.

 27 
R. E. B. Crompton
(British Inventor and Pioneer in Electrical Development)
R. E. B. Crompton
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1845
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sion Hill, Thirsk, Yorkshire, England
Died: February 15, 1940

Crompton & Co. founder Rookes Evelyn Bell Crompton was a skilled electrical engineer. After his military career in India, Crompton focused on inventions and developed arc lamps and other electrical equipment. It is believed his Porchester Gardens residence was the first private house to be completely lit by electricity.

 28 
Edwin James Houston
(Electrical engineer)
Edwin James Houston
2
Birthdate: July 9, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Died: March 1, 1914
 29 
William D. Coolidge
4
Birthdate: October 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hudson, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 3, 1975
 30 
Frank Conrad
(Engineer)
Frank Conrad
4
Birthdate: May 4, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: December 10, 1941
 31 
Alexander Lodygin
(Inventor, Engineer)
Alexander Lodygin
2
Birthdate: October 18, 1847
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tambov, Russia
Died: March 16, 1923
 32 
Ernst Alexanderson
(Electrical Engineer)
Ernst Alexanderson
1
Birthdate: January 25, 1878
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Uppsala, Sweden
Died: May 14, 1975
 33 
Fleeming Jenkin
(Scottish Engineer and Inventor of the 'Cable Car' or 'Telpherage')
Fleeming Jenkin
1
Birthdate: March 25, 1833
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dungeness, England
Died: June 12, 1885

After a 10-year stint as an engineer working to construct and install submarine telegraph cables, Fleeming Jenkin published reports establishing the ohm as the unit of electrical resistance. He is also remembered as the inventor of the cable car and taught at institutes such as the University of Edinburgh.

 34 
Georges Leclanché
(French Electrical Engineer Famous for His Invention of the 'Leclanché Cell')
Georges Leclanché
1
Birthdate: October 9, 1839
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parmain, France
Died: September 14, 1882

Georges Leclanché was a 19th-century French electrical engineer who invented what became known as the Leclanché cell. His invention is considered the forerunner of the modern dry cell battery. He was educated at École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures and had a successful engineering career. He later founded the cells factory "Leclanché-Barbier" with Ernest Barbier. 

 35 
David Crosthwait
1
Birthdate: May 27, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Died: February 25, 1976

Ventilation, heating system, and air conditioning pioneer David Crosthwait was one of the first African-American men to excel in science. Throughout his illustrious career, he managed to gain 80 international patents. He later taught at Purdue University and was presented with an honorary doctorate by the same university.

 36 
Leon Charles Thevenin
0
Birthdate: March 30, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Meaux, France
Died: September 21, 1926
 37 
William Henry Preece
1
Birthdate: February 15, 1834
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Caernarfon, England
Died: November 6, 1913

Welsh inventor William Henry Preece spent his entire life working at the British Post Office, where he experimented on the post office telegraph system. He helped Guglielmo Marconi gain financial assistance and also developed the wireless telegraphy and the telephone system of Britain. He was knighted for his achievements.

 38 
Louis Charles Breguet
(Aircraft designer)
Louis Charles Breguet
1
Birthdate: January 2, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 4, 1955
 39 
Albert H. Taylor
(Electrical Engineer)
Albert H. Taylor
1
Birthdate: January 1, 1879
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 11, 1961
 40 
Harry Ward Leonard
0
Birthdate: February 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: February 18, 1915
 41 
Oskar von Miller
1
Birthdate: May 12, 1855
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: April 9, 1934
 42 
Frank B. Jewett
(Engineer)
Frank B. Jewett
1
Birthdate: September 5, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: November 18, 1949
 43 
Benjamin G. Lamme
0
Birthdate: January 12, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Springfield, Ohio, United States
Died: July 8, 1924
Greenleaf Whittier Pickard
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1877
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, United States
Died: January 8, 1956
 45 
Charles Tilston Bright
(Electrical engineer)
Charles Tilston Bright
1
Birthdate: June 8, 1832
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wanstead, London, England
Died: May 3, 1888

Charles Tilston Bright began his career as a clerk at the Electric Telegraph Company. Later, as an engineer for the Magnetic Telegraph Company, he oversaw the laying of underground telegraph lines in the U.K., which motivated him to give shape to the world’s first transatlantic telegraph cable.

 46 
Albert W. Hull
(Physicist)
Albert W. Hull
1
Birthdate: April 19, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Southington, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 22, 1966
 47 
Charles Joseph Van Depoele
(Belgian-Born American Inventor Who Made Pioneering Inventions Related to Electrical Railway)
Charles Joseph Van Depoele
0
Birthdate: April 27, 1846
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lichtervelde, Belgium
Died: March 18, 1892

Belgian-born American electrical engineer and inventor Charles Joseph Van Depoele was responsible for pioneering inventions in electrical railway. From being a church furniture manufacturer, he went on to own patents for many inventions, including the world’s first trolley pole. He later sold all his patents to the Thomson-Houston Electric Company.

 48 
Bern Dibner
(Engineer)
Bern Dibner
1
Birthdate: August 18, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lisianka, Ukraine
Died: January 6, 1988
 49 
Henry Christopher Mance
(Electrical engineer)
Henry Christopher Mance
0
Birthdate: September 6, 1840
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 21, 1926

Best remembered as the inventor of the heliograph, which used sunlight and mirrors to send coded flashes, British engineer Henry Christopher Mance received a knighthood for his feats. As part of the Persian Gulf Telegraph Department, he oversaw the laying of the first submarine telegraph cables in the Persian Gulf.

 50 
Louis Winslow Austin
0
Birthdate: October 30, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Orwell, Vermont, United States
Died: June 27, 1932