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Charles Kettering

From Academic Kids

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Time-magazine-cover-charles-kettering.jpg
Charles Kettering, on a Time cover, 1933

Charles Franklin Kettering (August 29, 1876November 24 or November 25, 1958), a.k.a. "Boss" Kettering was born in northern Ohio. He was a farmer, school teacher, mechanic, engineer, scientist, inventor and social philosopher. He had poor eyesight, but acquired an electrical engineering degree from Ohio State University in 1904. He held that new ideas can be developed through cooperative team efforts and applied this to a broad range of interests.

Kettering held more than 300 patents. He invented the all-electric starting, ignition and lighting system for automobiles. All-electric starting replaced the crank ignition for automobiles. First incorporated in the 1912 Cadillac, all-electric starting aided in the growth of the U.S. auto industry. His patents include a portable lighting system, Freon, a World War I "aerial torpedo," a treatment of venereal disease, an incubator for premature infants and an engine-driven generator, named the 'Delco.'

He developed the idea of Duco paint and ethyl gasoline. He helped develop diesel engines and solar energy. He was a pioneer in the application of magnetism to medical diagnostic techniques.

Kettering was a researcher for the U.S. automotive industry and formed the Dayton Engineering Laboratories company, Delco. Delco was eventually sold to General Motors, where it became the foundation for the General Motors Research Corporation. Kettering became vice president of General Motors Research Corporation in 1920. He held the position as head of research for General Motors for 27 years.

In 1998, GMI Engineering and Management Institute (Formerly General Motors Institute), of Flint, Michigan, changed its name to Kettering University in honor of Charles "Boss" Kettering. His ideals, prowess, and belief in co-operative education continue there.

As its most prestigious resident, the city of Kettering, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton, was named for him when it was incorporated in 1955.

External links

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