Inside an American Factory: Films of the Westinghouse Works, 1904
The Westinghouse World
About the Westinghouse Works
Map of the Westinghouse interests By the time that the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. had filmed the Westinghouse Works in 1904, the Westinghouse enterprise had grown to include many companies both in the United States and abroad. Background information is provided here on three of the companies most prominently featured in the AM&B films: the Air Brake Company, the Electric & Manufacturing Company,...
The Westinghouse Air Brake Co.
Originally organized in 1869 to manufacture the air brakes invented by George Westinghouse, the company moved to the larger and more modern plant featured in the AM&B motion pictures in Wilmerding, PA, in 1889. The works for this plant comprised over nine acres of floor space. The works and the yard together occupied approximately thirty acres. In 1905, approximately 3,000 workers were employed, and...
The Westinghouse Machine Co.
Organized in 1881, the Westinghouse Machine Company was devoted primarily to the manufacture of gas and steam engines, turbines and mechanical stokers. The main works were located at East Pittsburgh at a property covering nearly 50 acres. With a working floor space of 20.4 acres, the company employed approximately 3,500 men by 1905.
The companies that made up the Westinghouse Works prided themselves on being modern and progressive. This opinion is probably what led them to allow motion pictures to be taken of the working conditions in these plants, since they felt that their progressive ideas were in particular evidence there.
Worked On By the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company During This Period At the early part of the twentieth century when the motion pictures of the Westinghouse Works were filmed, the Westinghouse companies worked on several projects which brought them great notoriety. This was especially true of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company which obtained contracts for several highly visible projects, namely the Interborough...
About George Westinghouse
George Westinghouse The various Westinghouse Companies were the product of the mechanical inventiveness and the business acumen of one man--inventor and manufacturer George Westinghouse. This prolific inventor influenced the course of history by enabling the growth of the railroads through his inventions and by promoting the use of electricity for power and transportation. As an industrial manager, his influence on industrial history is considerable,...
Pittsburgh is an important industrial city at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in southwest Pennsylvania. The French built Fort Duquesne at this site in the mid-eighteenth century but it fell to the British in 1758. The following year, British forces occupied the site and named it Fort Pitt in honor of the then-Prime Minister. The city was incorporated as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,...