Frank Sprague, US electrical engineer

Frank Sprague, US electrical engineer

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Credit: Manuscripts and Archives Division/NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Frank Julian Sprague (1857-1934), US electrical engineer, naval officer and inventor. Sprague studied at the United States Naval Academy, serving in the US Navy until 1883. During his time in the navy, he invented a new type of dynamo. After the navy, he briefly worked for Thomas Edison, and then founded his own company in 1884, the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor Company. His inventions included improved electric streetcar (tram) power collecting systems and motors. From 1889, Sprague worked on electric elevator designs, and then electric trains. His awards include the Elliott Cresson Medal (1904), the Edison Medal (1910, the Franklin Medal (1921) and the John Fritz Medal (posthumously, 1935). Photographed in around 1888.

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