Category Archives: GE – General Electric

MOTOR CARS TO DIESELS (MOSTLY GE)

In 1847 the Great Eastern Counties Railroad of England tried a 7-passenger steam-powered car. Like every railcar, its objective was to provide service cheaper than could be done with a regular train. Steam cars were used until around 1920. Compressed air cars were tried in the late 1870’s. Their range limited them to short runs. Battery-powered cars first appeared in 1880. Originally, they were also limited to short range, but eventually could cover 100 miles or more.

The gasoline (or alcohol or kerosene or whatever) engine was first built in the late 1880’s. The big hit was, of course, the automobile, but in 1890, the Patton Motor Car Co. demonstrated a gasoline-electric railcar. Others such as the Hydro Carbon Company of Chicago built gas-mechanicals without much impact. The McKeen Motor Car Company grew out of Union Pacific’s dislike of high branchline passenger costs. It was started in 1904, spun off from the UP in 1908, and folded in 1920. By 1913, 138 had been built. These pointy-nosed cars didn’t last because the power plant and drive equipment were not insulated very well from the rough tracks which usually comprised branchlines.

In 1904, the General Electric Company’s Railway Engineering Department recognized the potential of the gas-electric car. Henri G. Chatain, A. F. Batchelder and E. D. Priest were given some space in the Schenectady Works to begin development seriously. At that time, J. R. Lovejoy was the department general manager, William B. Potter was the chief engineer, and John G. Barry was the assistant manager.

Barry eventually headed the department and went on to become an industry leader through offices he held in the American Electric Railway Association. Potter was a veteran of electric traction. Beginning with the West End Railway in Boston, he worked on installation of systems in Albany, Utica and Saratoga. He invented the series-parallel controller used on most electric railways. His more than 130 patents included railroad control equipment, electric braking and switching equipment. He developed the otheograph used for recording the wheel action of various types of rolling stock. He participated in some of the major electrifications such as Milwaukee, Great Northern, Paris-Orleans and London Underground.

The best engine for their specifications was built by Wolseley of Great Britain. The Delaware & Hudson lent GE a Barney & Smith combine for experimenting. An ALCO motor truck was added on the front. Two 75 h.p. traction motors and a 600-volt generator were added. Once the huge engine was added, the baggage compartment was filled and the car weighed 68 tons. A trial run from Schenectady to Saratoga showed D&H 1000 (sometimes referred to as GE No. 1) could go 40 mph.

The designers, now joined by William Everett Ver Planck, decided their next car needed: light weight, greater power, single end control, and a more dependable engine. The engine was the most difficult to accomplish. In 1906, a Gas Engine Department was formed. A new V8 was developed that required an explosive charge to start. It weighed 3,900 pounds as opposed to the 7-ton Wolseley. GE No. 2 was an all-steel from Wason Mfg. Co. of Springfield, MA. The final weight was less than half that of car no. 1. This car trialed on the Lehigh Valley; Chicago Great Western; Dan Patch Lines; and the D&H. It was extensively damaged by hitting a locomotive on the Rapid City, Black Hills & Western. Car 2 was later sold to the Dan Patch Lines where it was destroyed in a 1914 fire.

A third GE demonstrator was built which incorporated even more improvements such as a 125 h.p. engine with compressed air starter. Car 3 eventually traveled 50,000 miles in demonstration service.

An attempt was made in 1909 to break into the street railway business. New York’s Third Avenue Railway Company had several “horse-powered” lines. Not wanting the expense of electrification, they had a “bake off” between the GE car and a battery powered one. The battery won.

By 1909, orders were coming in. Southern; Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh; Frisco; and Dan Patch Lines. Many improvements were made by Hermann Lemp. In 1910-11, the Gas Engine Department moved to a new plant in Erie, PA.

Before production ceased in 1917, almost 100 motorcars were built. Several were oddballs. One for the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie was only 42 feet long (as opposed to 70-foot normal). It was designed to pull a trailer. One was built as a line car for the New York, Westchester & Boston. It was the only GE (except no. 1) without a Wason body. Some cars built for southern railroads had two doors – to comply with “Jim Crow” laws.

Operating costs ranged from 12 to 17 cents/mile. Cost of the cars was between $20,000 and $30,000. They usually ran with a crew of two (not withstanding labor agreements requiring more). Don’t forget though gasoline only cost 7 cents/gallon.

In the 1920’s, GE worked with Ingersoll-Rand on switch engines.

There was some degree of internal dissension within GE. Many would rather have sold all-electric. Little did they realize that non-electric would almost end electric.

GE’s history was wrapped around electric traction. In 1884, Frank J. Sprague, convinced that a street car could be powered by electricity from overhead cables, built a street railway in Richmond VA. By 1888, 40 cars were in operation. The Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company joined the Edison General Electric Company in 1890.

Elihu Thomson and Edwin J. Houston, two science teachers from Philadelphia, formed a company in Lynn MA that also built streetcars. Their company merged into the Edison General Electric in 1892 to form today’s General Electric Company. One of their employees was Charles Van Depoele, a woodcarver whose trolley-pole proved practical for overhead electric operation.

By 1908, General Electric completed the electrification of Grand Central Terminal. Although this installation used direct current, Charles Proteus Steinmetz, GE’s “wizard of electricity”, developed methods of designing alternating current machinery that would assure the future of GE in electric propulsion.

A big competitor was Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company. Beginning in the 1920’s, they built the electrical gear for some diesel-battery cars. Most of these were for Canadian National. New Haven’s Comet of 1925 was an example of a 6-cylinder, 400 h.p. unit (run as a three-car articulate). Boston & Maine got a V-12 about the same time. Between 1928 and 1937 they built several locomotives with Baldwin.

In 1930 General Electric built 34 three-power oil-electric box cab switchers (class DES3) for the New York Central. These were used mostly in the New York harbor area because of their light weight and fire safety aspects. They used battery power for traction. The batteries could be charged through either third-rail contact shoes or a 300 h.p. diesel engine.

The Electro-Motive Company came into being in 1922 in a little shop in Cleveland, Ohio. It got into the railroad business by making gas-electric motor cars using carbodies from St. Louis Car, electrical gear from GE and engines from Winton. In 1930 both EMC and Winton became subsidiaries of General Motors. By 1934, a new factory was underway in La Grange and streamliners were produced for Union Pacific (“City of Salina”) and Burlington (“Zephyr”).

In 1938 a steam-electric locomotive was built for the Union Pacific. Later on, gas turbine locomotives would also be tried.

In 1945 Fairbanks-Morse entered the locomotive business but it didn’t have a plant. GE built 111 locomotives for them before they struck out on their own.

The success of Budd’s RDC prompted GE to draw up plans for a diesel-electric railcar with underslung engines. GE argued that an electric transmission would enable its car to out-accelerate RDC’s and to pull trailers.

In 1960, GE announced its intention to enter the road diesel market with a 2500 h.p. four-motor hood called a U25B (Universal line, 2500 h.p., B trucks). Growth and the overtaking of EMD was accomplished by making good on low fuel consumption, high reliability, attractive financing and favorable trade-in allowances. Over the last 29 years there were some rough spots.

A look inside: GE’s new office at The Banks has no offices

DOWNTOWN – Walking through General Electric Co.’s new office space at the Banks is akin to having a front-row seat to corporate transformation.

GE’s office building, ironically, is office-free. There are dozens of different types of workspaces available from partitioned desks to huddle rooms and multipurpose spaces with telepresence capabilities to a rocking chair in front of a window that overlooks Smale Riverfront Park and the Ohio River.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor are standard. A grab-and-go cafe, game rooms, fitness center, building-wide WiFi and a landscaped outdoor seating and dining area are amenities more commonly at startup offices than those for a 124-year-old corporate giant.

Yet the new building offers GE the chance to reinvent its image in the eyes of workers, many of whom are new to the company. Only 20 percent of GE’s workers in Downtown Cincinnati are internal transfers. At the same time, the company’s global operations division wants to reshape how GE does business around the world.

GE Global Operations was established in 2011 to streamline the company’s operations and accelerate innovation. The Cincinnati center joins three others currently operating in China, Hungary and Mexico.

Standardizing functions in finance, human resources, information technology, supply chain management, legal and sales operations and also co-locating people who work in those roles could help GE become more nimble, company officials said. On a third-floor wall of the building, passers-by can see GE’s goal of being the world’s foremost digital industrial company.

Baker Hughes, A GE Company

A compelling, transformational combination

 The best partner to Oil & Gas customers … offering solutions based on
complementary equipment & services technology across the full spectrum
of the oil and gas value chain

 More innovative solutions to market faster and more cost effectively …
Baker Hughes’ leading products and services with GE Oil & Gas highly
differentiated manufacturing capabilities

 Best-in class physical + digital technology … combine Baker Hughes
domain expertise, technology and culture of innovation with GE Store and
GE industry-leading Digital Platform

 Value creation for customers and shareholders … positioned to weather
short-term volatility and participate in industry upcycle

Impact for Baker Hughes shareholders

 Ongoing ownership in a stronger, more competitive
business

 Cash dividend of $17.50 per share equal to 30%+ of
undisturbed share price

 Participation in substantial value creation through
synergies

 Revenue growth driven by increased customer touch
points

Deal overview

Merge GE Oil & Gas with Baker Hughes … GE owns 62.5%, new Baker Hughes owns 37.5%
+ Create new, publicly traded company with separate investor base
+ GE to contribute $7.4B to fund cash dividend to Baker Hughes shareholders upfront
+ Close expected mid-2017 … ~$.04 accretive to GE EPS in 2018

Combination of GE Oil & Gas & Baker Hughes establishes a new industry leader
+ 2x scale, complementary capabilities, more diversified
+ Can weather the cycle in short term & over time; significantly levered to recovery

Platform is positioned to deliver substantial customer value
+ Technical solutions  productivity
+ Best digital platform
+ Global execution

Synergy opportunity is substantial … cost and revenue
+ ~$1.6B synergies (~$1.2B cost & ~$0.4B revenue)

Disciplined capital allocation … O&G long-term fit for GE
+ Essential industry & fits GE Store

Efficient transaction structure using like-for-like equity with modest cash outlay
including disposition proceeds

See More about this transaction

So How is the 124-Year Old “Start-Up” Company Doing?

In Greenville, SC; G.E. makes gas turbines.(pictured above)  Because of digital technology and other improvements, the production time of 5 years has been cut in half.

In 2009, Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric, realized how much DATA was being collected by jet engines. It could be a lot of value, but G.E. was not really using it. G.E. needed to be more capable with SOFTWARE. G.E. was a manufacturer (turbines, locomotives, jet engines, medical equipment) but needed to treat Amazon and IBM as competitors.

At that time, G.E. was returning to its industrial roots, dumping GE Capital. In 2011, G.E. opened a Software Center in San Ramon, CA. The Center’s biggest mission is to build an “industrial-strength” computer operating system. You know, like ANDROID or WINDOWS! The aim is to realize this goal by 2020.

Instead of just dumping money into San Ramon, G.E. is involving the WHOLE COMPANY. Many of the 300,000 employees are traveling to San Ramon to “soak up the culture”. The goal is to move the digital wizardy of Silicon Valley into the rest of G.E. and into industrial manufacturing.

The big goal is to incorporate the “Internet Of Things” into something that helps manufacturers. For example, how about using sensors to decide when a machine needs repairs?

It will be a transformation. G.E. will sell “business outcomes” not just machines to it’s customers.

Google and Facebook revolutionized advertising. Amazon changed retailing. G.E. will change manufacturing.

Could be that the all the data and analysis will be worth more than the actual machines!!!

Starting out, GE Digital had some early reluctance to efforts to hire software engineers and scientists. But G.E. has always been great with advertising.

The “digital revolution” is already hitting railroad trains. At this week’s InnoTrans 2016 transportation trade show in Berlin, for example, GE is unveiling a “superbrain” platform for locomotives that transforms them into mobile data headquarters—helping make trains smarter and faster. “A decade from now, digital tools will take railroad productivity and efficiency to unprecedented levels,” says Seth Bodnar, chief digital officer at GE Transportation. “The whole network will light up like a brain.”

It’s about time. Bodnar’s train brain will help railways boost locomotive horsepower, improve operations and burn less fuel. “It’s really about enabling self-aware trains in a smart ecosystem,” he says.

Written by Ken Kinlock

Russian Railways taps into Hyperloop transportation technology, with GE and SNCF (Ali Hyperloop 13)

Russia has confidently tapped into hyperloop train technology for moving both freight and passengers at speeds of up to 1,200 kph. Russian Railways and Hyperloop One are exploring together the possibility of using the futuristic technology. General Electric and SNCF could join Russia’s Hyperloop pilot project as investors, declared the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev (TASS).

“We’re now discussing with Russian Railways first pilot projects and therefore will hopefully be testing them in the nearest future in Russia as well, and such major investors as General Electric and SCNF, the leading industrial companies, are putting their faith in the project and obviously we hope it will be successful in Russia as well,” he said.

Hyperloop One, the Russian group of companies Summa (owner of Fesco, one of the largest Russian shipowners and operators of port infrastructure with integrated rail and logistics operations), and Moscow Government have signed an agreement to explore building Hyperloop One systems in Russia’s capital region. The deal was signed at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum by Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin, Summa Group chairman Ziyavudin Magomedov and Hyperloop One chairman and co-founder Shervin Pishevar. According to Hyperloop One, discussions with Russia’s federal government are underway for a second feasibility study, with an agreement expected later this year.

“Our longer term vision is to work with Russia to implement a transformative new Silk Road: a cargo Hyperloop that whisks freight containers from China to Europe in a day,” Pishevar stated.

Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said that the Russian government proposed Primorye-2 transportation corridor as the pilot stage for hyperloop. The 70 km long corridor connects the ports in the southwest of Primorye – Posiet, Zarubino and Slavyanka – with China’s northeastern provinces. According to him, China has also expressed interest to co-fund the project. “We have a fund to support the Silk Road projects. I believe that this project may count on 100% co-financing from this fund,” he said.

RDIF also announced yesterday that it made investments in Hyperloop One. RDIF committed funds to the company during the Series B financing round, which closed in April 2016. A number of leading international investors participated in this round alongside RDIF. Among them are: Sherpa Ventures, Formation 8, ZhenFund, Caspian Venture Partners, 137 Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Fast Digital, Western Technology Investment (WTI), GE Ventures, as well as SNCF.

“RDIF pays great attention to the development of transport infrastructure, including the technological advances that will shape the future of the transport industry. Our investment in Hyperloop One project will facilitate the arrival of cutting-edge technologies in Russia. RDIF and its international partners will provide support to the project not only in Russia but also in the Middle Eastern and Asian markets.”

Paris to Rome in one hour: France backs the Hyperloop

Photo: Hyperloop Transport Technologies

Imagine Paris to Marseille in just 40 minutes, or Paris to Rome in just over one hour. French rail chiefs believe it’s not just a pie in the sky idea.

Hyperloop One startup, intent on zipping people along at near-supersonic speeds in pressurized tubes, announced Tuesday that the French national rail company had joined its growing list of backers.

Hyperloop One said that it raised $80 million in fresh funding from an array of investors, including GE Ventures and France’s SNCF.

“The overwhelming response we’ve had already confirms what we’ve always known, that Hyperloop One is at the forefront of a movement to solve one of the planet’s most pressing problems,” Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar said.

“The brightest minds are coming together at the right time to eliminate the distances and borders that separate economies and cultures.”

While the idea of the Hyperloop replacing France’s already high-speed TGV services might seem a little too far-fetched at the moment, French rail chiefs clearly see some potential in the project.

So why not all ow us to dream a little.

With Hyperloop’s average speed of 970km/hour, imagine all the cities in France being within an hour’s travelling time from Paris. Paris to Marseille for example could take as little as 40 minutes – the time spent by many commuters on the Paris Metro each morning.

A trip to Rome on the Hyperloop would also be little over an hour away and Berlin would be 55 minutes according to very, very early guesstimates.

Pishevar and Brogan BamBrogan founded Hyperloop One, originally named Hyperloop Technologies, in 2013 to make real Elon Musk’s well-researched vision of a lightning-fast transport system with the potential to transform how people live.

Musk outlined his futuristic idea in a paper released in 2013, challenging innovators to bring the dream to life.

Hyperloop One, one of the startups that picked up the gauntlet Musk threw down, plans a demonstration Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas to show what it has accomplished so far.

BamBrogan also promised a “full-scaled, full-speed” demo by the end of the year.

“It’s not just a faster train; it is an absolute on-demand experience,” he said during a presentation here late Tuesday.

“It leaves when you get there and goes directly to your destination.”

He went on to playfully describe Hyperloop as having such a controlled environment that it would be “elevator smooth” as well as “pet friendly, kid friendly, grandma friendly.”

Hyperloop One is so confident in the speed at which the project is moving that it announced a global challenge in which businesses, governments, citizens, academics and others can submit proposals for where the systems should be built.

“Just like an Olympics bidding process, we want to understand the great ideas in the world and then extract the best one,” Hyperloop One chief executive Rob Lloyd said.

NOW WE ARE STARTING ON MY (PENNEY VANDERBILT) FAVORITE PROJECT: A rail connection between Chicago and Louisville, Kentucky

It would go through Indianapolis and may also serve Cincinnati. It might not go all the way into Chicago but instead start at the Gary, Indiana airport. Connection to Chicago would be over the South Shore Line

Remembering Nancy Reagan

Working where I do, I found out early on the importance of the General Electric Company in the life of my manager.

Last fall, the National Geographic Channel launched a new television series called “Breakthrough,” focusing on scientific discovery. The series was developed by the channel and GE, and produced by Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

But “Breakthrough” was not the company’s first brush with Hollywood. In 1954, it hired actor and future President Ronald Reagan to host a national TV show called “General Electric Theater.” Former first lady Nancy Reagan appeared in four episodes as an actress, and their “all-electric” home was the star of two more segments. The whole family, including Ronald Jr., then 31/2 years old, and Patricia, 9, greeted viewers during the Christmas Eve episode in 1961. Nancy Reagan died last March. She was 94.

mage: The whole family, including Ronald Jr., then 31/2 years old, and Patricia, 9, greeted viewers during the Christmas Eve episode in 1961. Above: Reagan and future first lady Nancy Reagan opened their “all-electric” house in Pacific Palisades, California, to TV cameras while it was still under construction. Image credit: Museum of Innovation and Science Schenectady

Other stars on the show, which aired every Sunday at 9 p.m. on CBS television and radio until 1962, included Fred Astaire, Lou Costello, James Dean, Joan Fontaine, Ernie Kovacs and others. By 1956 it was the third-most-popular show on American television, reaching over 25 million viewers every week.

Don Herbert, the creator and host of the iconic educational series “Mr. Wizard,” was Reagan’s “progress reporter,” gathering news on GE’s “contributions to progress through research, engineering and manufacturing skill,” according to a story published in The Monogram, a GE magazine.

Reagan2

Reagan5[2]

Over eight seasons, Reagan and Herbert crisscrossed the country and visited more than 130 GE labs and factories. They reported on everything from jet engines — the technology was barely a decade old back then — to the future of electricity. Several broadcasts in 1956 even took place inside Reagan’s brand-new “all-electric” hilltop home in Pacific Palisades, California, as part of GE’s “Live Better — Electrically” marketing campaign. The Reagan residence served as the model home, “pointing the way to the electrical future.”

“It wouldn’t be same house without the lighting, which is so unique and beautiful … the real thrill comes with sundown when the lights come on,” future first lady Nancy Reagan told The Monogram.

Reagan4 Reagan3

Critics liked the show, too. The Boston Herald opined that “apparently the people at GE assume that we are not idiots and are interested in some intelligent facts about their company and its work. It won’t start a trend but we thank them anyway.”

“General Electric Theater” and Ronald Reagan signed off for the last time in 1962. “We have tried consistently to put on the very best stories available using the best actors and actresses, directors and producers we could find,” Reagan wrote in The Monogram. “We on the ‘Theater’ believe that year in and year out, we have had the highest-quality half hour on television.”

 

Why GE had to kill its annual performance reviews after more than three decades

The annual performance review has been a ubiquitous and generally loathed fixture of the corporate world for decades. But haters can rejoice: It’s finally starting to topple. The best part? Even the company that popularized the toughest form of formal annual review is moving away from them.

For decades, General Electric practiced (and proselytized) a rigid system, championed by then-CEO Jack Welch, of ranking employees. Formally known as the “vitality curve” but frequently called “rank and yank,” the system hinged on the annual performance review, and boiled the employees’ performance down to a number on which they were judged and ranked against peers. A bottom percentage (10% in GE’s case) of underperformers were then fired.

The company got rid of formal, forced ranking around 10 years ago. But now, GE’s in the middle of a far bigger shift. It’s abandoning formal annual reviews and its legacy performance management system for its 300,000-strong workforce over the next couple of years, instead opting for a less regimented system of more frequent feedback via an app. For some employees, in smaller experimental groups, there won’t be any numerical rankings whatsoever.

With the decision, GE joins other high-profile companies—like Microsoft, Accenture, and Adobe—that have started dumping or have already gotten rid of formal annual reviews. GE may not have invented stack ranking, but it’s the company most identified with it. And given the longstanding and pervasive influence GE has had over the business world, its move could represent the beginning of the end for a practice that has been at the heart of how corporations have managed people for many decades.

Picture Above:

Hallowed but shifting ground at GE’s Crotonville management training campus (General Electric)

Early Television in Schenectady, New York

GUEST POST BY KEN KINLOCK

Recently I read in a daily history blog that on May 13, 1928 that “WGY-TV in Schenectady, NY began regular television broadcasting”

Having once worked in Schenectady, I had heard other things about television (and radio) both before and after that date. Matter of fact, We updated a WebSite about early radio history.

http://www.ominousweather.com/VacationFrenchRiviera/Entertainment.html#WGY

1928: General Electric establishes an experimental electro-mechanical television station, W2XB, at its factory in Schenectady, NY. The station broadcasts a moving image from a “camera” using a Nipkow disk with a 24 line resolution. The star of these early transmissions was a 13″ tall Bakelite statue of Felix the Cat slowly rotating on a turntable. In addition to the statue of Felix the Cat, W2XBS also broadcast images of a human subject. These broadcasts were used by GE engineers to test the new technology. In 1942, W2XB becomes WRGB, sister to radio station WGY.

The regular television broadcasting was not only local, but sent to New York City also. Wonder where it was rebroadcast from? At that point, General Electric owned a significant portion of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Other owners were Westinghouse, the American Telephone & Telegraph Company (AT&T) and United Fruit Company.

Above picture is from 1939 and shows the General Electric Broadcasting station in the Helderberg Mountains near Albany, New York.

A block diagram of the GE electro-mechanical television system, Radio News, April 1928.
Note that two radio transmitters were used in these experimental broadcasts. The visual image was broadcast on experiemntal shortwave station W2XB operating on 37.33 meters (7.7 MHz) and the sound was broadcast over radio station WGY operating on 379.9 meters (790 KH).

1928: On September 11, 1928, W2XB (video) and WGY (audio) broadcast American first television drama, a 40 minute one-act melodrama titled “The Queen’s Messanger.” Because the TV screens were small, only the actor’s face or hands were shown. Three “cameras” were used, two for the actors faces and a third for the actors hands or stage props. The play had only two characters. A female Russian spy and a British Diplomatic Courier. Four actors were used. Two for the character’s faces, and two for their hands. Amateur radio operators in Los Angeles and Pittsfield, Mass. watched the experimental broadcast on home built television sets. In a story published in the Washington Post on September 21, 1928 under the headline: DRAMA IS RADIOED THROUGH TELEVISION, these radio operators reported: “Results only fair due to fading in 21 meter band, voices very strong with occasional glimpses of faces.” General Electric took a number of staged publicity photos of the event and a short clip of the “broadcast” was included in a GE produced newsreel.

Divesture of RCA. In 1930, General Electric was charged with antitrust violations, resulting in the company’s decision to divest itself of RCA. The newly separate company signed leases to move its corporate headquarters into the new Rockefeller Center in 1931. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. , founder and financier of Rockefeller Center, arranged the deal with GE chairman Owen D. Young and RCA president David Sarnoff. When it moved into the complex in 1933, RCA became the lead tenant at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, known as the “RCA Building”.

 

RCABuildingRCA Building in NY City

GE570Lexington

570 Lexington Avenue went to GE. It was used as a “Executive Offices” until 1974 when General Electric corporate headquarters moved from Schenectady, NY to Fairfield, Connecticut.

30 Rockefeller Center (known as 30 Rock and now as the COMCAST Center) not completed yet. Opened in 1933.

RCA (also known as Radio Victor Corporation of America) owned 570 Lexington Avenue but 570 not complete until 1931. NBC was never there. Radio Victor, one of the most powerful of the postwar radio companies, owned the National Broadcasting Company and the R-K-O theater chain. Its headquarters were at 570 Lex until 30 Rock was completed.

Prior to occupying its location at Rockefeller Center, NBC had occupied upper floors of a building at 711 Fifth Avenue. Home of NBC from its construction in 1927, until moving to 30 Rock in 1933.

 

WanamakerNYC

Wanamaker building? That was where Sarnoff received broadcasts from the sinking Titanic.

Was TV broadcast by WRCA or WNBC?

Was WEAF (owned by AT&T) involved? AT&T was the only company who could have laid the cable. WEAF became CBS. On April 7, 1927, a group of newspaper reporters and dignitaries gathered at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories auditorium in New York City to see the first American demonstration of something new: television. Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover provided the “entertainment,” as his live picture and voice were transmitted over telephone lines from Washington, D.C., to New York.

From “Early Television” http://www.earlytelevision.org/NBC_prewar_programming.html

When RCA introduced their television sets at the 1939 Worlds Fair, NBC began regularly scheduled television broadcasting. The schedule consisted of about 2 hours of broadcasting in the afternoon, and an hour or so in the evening. Much of the programming was done using remote pickup equipment. Sports events, plays, and other events were covered.  Even in 1939, NBC conducted audience surveys to help determine their programming. A 1940 article in Electronics magazine summarized the data from the surveys. The first television commercial was broadcast by NBC in 1941. NBC even broadcast television from an airplane in 1940.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 1941 ruling that the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had to sell one of its two radio networks was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1943. The second network became the new American Broadcasting Company (ABC), which would enter television early in the next decade. Six experimental television stations remained on the air during the warÑone each in Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Schenectady, N.Y., and two in New York City. But full-scale commercial television broadcasting did not begin in the United States until 1947.

By 1949 Americans who lived within range of the growing number of television stations in the country could watch, for example, The Texaco Star Theater (1948), starring Milton Berle, or the children’s program, Howdy Doody (1947). They could also choose between two 15-minute newscasts:CBS TV News (1948) with Douglas Edwards and NBC’s Camel News Caravan (1948) with John Cameron Swayze (who was required by the tobacco company sponsor to have a burning cigarette always visible when he was on camera). Many early programs such as Amos ‘n’ Andy (1951) or The Jack Benny Show (1950) were borrowed from early television’s older, more established Big Brother: network radio. Most of the formats of the new programs: newscasts, situation comedies, variety shows, and dramas were borrowed from radio, too (see radio broadcasting and television programming). NBC and CBS took the funds needed to establish this new medium from their radio profits. However, television networks soon would be making substantial profits of their own, and network radio would all but disappear, except as a carrier of hourly newscasts. Ideas on what to do with the element television added to radio, the visuals, sometimes seemed in short supply.

Between 1953 and 1955, television programming began to take some steps away from radio formats. NBC television president Sylvester Weaver devised the “spectacular,” a notable example of which was Peter Pan (1955), starring Mary Martin, which attracted 60 million viewers. Weaver also developed the magazine-format programs Today, which made its debut in 1952 with Dave Garroway as host (until 1961), and The Tonight Show, which began in 1953 hosted by Steve Allen (until 1957). The third network, ABC, turned its first profit with youth-oriented shows such as Disneyland, which debuted in 1954 (and has since been broadcast under different names), and The Mickey Mouse Club (1955; see Disney, Walt).

The programming that dominated the two major networks in the mid-1950s borrowed heavily from another medium: theater. NBC and CBS presented such noteworthy, and critically acclaimed, dramatic anthologies as Kraft Television Theater (1947), Studio One (1948), Playhouse 90 (1956), and The U.S. Steel Hour (1953). Memorable television dramas of the era most of them broadcast live included Paddy Chayefsky’s Marty (1955), starring Rod Steiger (Ernest Borgnine starred in the film), and Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men (1954). By the 1955 television season, 14 of these live-drama anthology series were being broadcast. This is often looked back on as the “Golden Age” of television. However, by 1960 only one of these series was still on the air.

From here on out, just refer to the WIKI. It is a long and beautiful story.

LIKE it, LOVE it and I will write more.

GE to establish energy firm combining several businesses

Ancien Hippie

HARTFORD, Conn. — General Electric Co. has established an energy company that combines its LED, solar, energy storage and electric vehicle businesses and a software system to help customers improve efficiency.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based conglomerate said Wednesday the company, known as Current, will begin with more than $1 billion of revenue and build on the company’s energy businesses. It will be based in the Boston area and have a presence in California’s Silicon Valley, though exact locations weren’t provided.

Through its software GE will analyze energy consumption and provide customers with data detailing patterns of use and recommendations to improve efficiency.

GE says customers include Walgreens, Hilton Worldwide and JPMorgan Chase.

Current is expected to create about 200 jobs. Maryrose Sylvester, a former president and CEO of GE Lighting, will serve as CEO.

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