Our Heritage and History

Since 1886, Westinghouse has brought the best to life. You can see it in the products we make. The power we create. The people we help. Today, our legacy lives on with technology that is transforming the human experience, from smart appliances for the home to energy solutions that are cleanly and safely powering us into the next generation.

Explore our history
to discover how westinghouse has been at work in our world.

1846 – 1881

1846 – George Westinghouse was born.
1865 – Westinghouse receives his first patent for a rotary steam engine.
1869 – Westinghouse patents the air brake, revolutionizing railroad safety.
1869 – Westinghouse Air Brake Company is founded.
1873 – The automatic air brake is invented.
1871 – Westinghouse Air Brake Company implements half-day Saturdays, a big step toward the five-day work week.

1886 – 1895

1881 – Westinghouse founds Union Switch and Signal Company to develop closed-track circuits and interlocking systems for railroads.
1886 – Westinghouse Electric Company is founded.
1888 – Nikola Tesla receives a patent for the first alternating current motor and comes to work for Westinghouse Electric Company.
1896 – Westinghouse harnesses the power of Niagara Falls and builds the first hydroelectric power plant.
1893 – Westinghouse beats Thomas Edison for the contract to light the Chicago World’s Fair with AC power and wins the “war of the currents.”

1914 – 1920

1914 – Westinghouse acquires Copeman Electric Stove Company and enters the home appliance market.
1914 – George Westinghouse dies, leaving a legacy that includes 361 patents and the founding of 60 companies.
1916 – Westinghouse introduces an innovative toaster that flips bread slices, toasting them evenly.
1917 – Westinghouse introduces the first all-electric kitchen range.
1920 – Westinghouse makes history with the first commercial radio broadcast in the country. Radio station KDKA begins operations.

1921 – 1937

1921 – Westinghouse introduces the first factory-built radio receiver.
1923 – Westinghouse pioneers the first international shortwave radio broadcast.
1930 – 55,000 Westinghouse workers honor George Westinghouse by raising funds to build a memorial and garden in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park.
1933 – The world’s fastest elevators are built for New York’s Rockefeller Center.
1937 – Westinghouse Electric constructs the first atom smasher to explore the potential of nuclear energy as a practical power source.

1939 – 1955

1939 – Westinghouse makes an impression at the New York World’s Fair with its Hall of Power and Elektro, the walking, talking robot.
1939 – Westinghouse hosts the Battle of the Centuries Dishwashing Contest to showcase its new dishwasher.
1940s – Westinghouse supports the war effort on many fronts, including the creation of the famous “We Can Do It” poster.
1941 – Westinghouse begins producing power at Grand Coulee Dam.
1946 – The first electric clothes dryer is introduced.


1954 – The USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear submarine, was launched with a reactor built by Westinghouse.
1954 – Westinghouse launches its first color television.
1955 – Westinghouse refrigerators account for 55% of the refrigerator market in the U.S.

1960 – Present

1960 – Paul Rand designs the Westinghouse logo.
1968 – Westinghouse introduces the first “Instant-On” Television.
1969 – Westinghouse cameras capture the first moonwalk for viewers back on earth.
1977 – Westinghouse introduces the first airborne surveillance radar system.
2001 – ENERGY STAR light bulbs, lighting fixtures and ceiling fans are introduced.
2002 – Westinghouse works with NASA to develop the Eye Saver light bulb.