Innovations from Ohio’s Most Legendary Engineers
“Ohio, The Heart of It All” was a longstanding slogan of the mid-western state that referred to the wide variety of what Ohio has to offer. Many may not know, this includes a longstanding history of American innovators, engineers, and entrepreneurs! item North America set-up shop in Akron,
Ohio for a variety of reasons; a good education system that provides for well-trained workforce, geographic location, infrastructure, and also the rich history of innovation and a strong industrial foundation. In recognition of DiscoverE’s National Engineering Week from February 21-27, we want to recognize a few legendary engineers from Ohio.
Electrical Engineering - Thomas Edison
Perhaps the most famous engineer from Ohio is Thomas Edison, born in the small town of Milan, OH in 1847. While he may have made his name in New Jersey, this Ohioan was responsible for 1,093 US Patents and is credited with starting the first industrial research laboratory. In addition to revolutionizing the electric light bulb, power utilities, sound recording, motion pictures, and telecommunications Edison was also a serial entrepreneur. Edison’s legacy lives on, not only through his companies and the continued use of his inventions, but also through awards and museums named in his honor. Most notably the IEEE’s Edison Medal, an award given to advancements in electrical science and engineering since 1909.
Chemical Engineering - William Merriam Burton
William Burton was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1865 and was at the forefront of the petroleum chemistry. Eventually making his way up to being President at Standard Oil, Burton developed the first thermal cracking process for crude oil, aptly named the “Burton Process.” This process doubled the yield of gasoline extracted from crude oil. While the process has been replaced by catalytic cracking, it is still used in diesel production.
Aviation Engineering - Wright Brothers
Despite Wilbur being born in Indiana, Orville was born in Dayton and most Ohioans still consider Ohio to be the birthplace of aviation. The bulk of inventions and research that lead to Wilbur & Orville Wright to become the founders of aviation, occurred in Dayton, Ohio. The story of their success began with the Wright Cycle Company, which repaired, rented, and sold bicycles in the 1890s. The profits from their cycle company fueled flight experimentation leading to their first breakthrough of three-axis control enabling pilots to control the pitch, roll, and yaw of aircraft. After years of testing, the Wright Brothers demonstrated powered flight on December 14th of 1903.
Nuclear Fusion Engineering - Willard Harrison Bennett
Born in Findlay, Ohio in 1903 William Bennett conducted research into plasma physics, astrophysics, geophysics, surface physics, and physical chemistry. Bennett held 67 patents and in 1934 discovered the pinch effect, an important step in plasma research. His research lead to a radio frequency mass spectrometer that could determine the mass of atoms. In the 1950s while at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Bennet developed an experimental tube system called the Störmertronthat predicted a layer of energized particles held in place by the magnetic field of a planet. Six years after his theory, the Van Allen radiation belts were proven by satellites.
Automotive Engineering - Charles F. Kettering
Born in Loudonville in 1876, Charles Kettering is most well known as the Head of Research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947 where he lead development in the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. Kettering also contributed towards advancements in practical two-stroke diesel engines, changing how heavy equipment and locomotive vehicles were powered. With the DuPont Chemical Company, he invented Freon for refrigeration and air conditioning. He amassed over 200 patents and turned his fortune into Kettering Foundation which has become a research oriented foundation.
National Engineering Week
Ohio has earned the reputation of being a diverse state. From being a melting pot of people, varying terrain, and unique cities, Ohio has it all. item North America has benefited from the diverse population, higher education system, and infrastructure. With item North America’s Akron, Ohio facility housing a large inventory, mechanical engineering team, and experienced sales team, Northeast Ohio gives us a competitive advantage.
During this National Engineers Week, we want to continue the spirit of innovation to recognize a few engineers from Ohio who have impacted modern life. Ohioans have made breakthroughs in aviation, automobiles, hydrocarbon, new energy sources, light bulbs, and telecommunications. In Ohio today, innovators and companies continue to thrive in aerospace, polymer research, biomedical, and environmental engineering. item North America is continuing STEM efforts into the new year to continue the momentum of innovation in our home state.
Much like the diversity of Ohio, the mechanical solutions item North America designs & build are also diverse. At the core of item’s system is a high quality, systematic alternative to steel, designed for industrial machine building. The system’s capabilities have grown to include comprehensive safety hard guarding, linear motion, material handling, lean production, and ergonomic workbench solutions.
Learn more about the engineering capabilities of the MB Kit System and contact us to start your next project!