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202 General Electric
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Home Ragtime Articles of Interest 202 General Electric

202 General Electric

In Ragtime Harry Houdini met a man from Buffalo, New York, who claimed to have at one time worked with Steinmetz, the dwarf immigrant genius of the General Electric Company.  Harry Houdini in the book ragtime makes many acquaintances.  Charles Steinmentz was a German-American mathematician and electrical engineer.  The General Electric company hired Steinmentz and while under their employment he fostered the development of alternating current. 

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Ragtime is infused with American success stories of the early nineteen hundreds.  Among these success stories is the 1892 merger of the Edison General Electric Company and the Thompson-Houston Electric Company which lead to the formation of General Electric.  This conglomerate based out of Fairfield, Connecticut, had importance going back to the turn of the twentieth century.  To this day GE is known for varied services including appliances, oil, and energy including important other necessities.  

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The reason that the Edison Electric Company and the Thompson-Houston Electric company could see eye to eye and form one of the most prolific conglomerates in North America, is owed to another character in Ragtime.  J.P Morgan who is prominent throughout Ragtime is the one who orchestrated the merger.     


sources 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Proteus_Steinmetz

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric


Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2011 01:04  

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