Did you know that Edward Weston was born today in 1850? He was a chemist and studied electrochemistry (the relationship between electricity and chemical change). When he emigrated to the United States, he developed an interest in power generation. During his life, Edward Weston attained 334 United States patents. Weston invented several dynamos and generators (both are devices used to generate electricity) and designed many devices such as voltmeters and wattmeters that are used to measure electric current. In 1893, Weston invented the saturated cadmium cell, a type of battery, that produced a very stable voltage. The Weston Cell is used as a laboratory standard and benchmark to calibrate voltmeters.
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In the early days of electricity generation, Edward Weston was a competitor to Thomas Edison. His company, Weston Electric Light Company won the contract to illuminate the Brooklyn Bridge.
Weston also founded the Weston Electrical Instrument Corporation, which became famous for its voltmeters, ammeters, wattmeters, ohmmeters, and other types of instruments that measured electric current.
Edward Weston was a founding member of the board of trustees for what would eventually become the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Some of Weston’s inventions, scientific equipment, and writings are on display at the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Library.
Edward Weston invented two alloys, constantan and manganin. An alloy is a mix of metals. Constantan is a combination of copper and nickel. Manganin is a mixture of copper, manganese, and nickel.
Weston built a magnetic speedometer and a dashboard ammeter used in Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Initially, Edward Weston studied to be a medical doctor.