Known now throughout the world, the American diversified corporation was founded in the XIX century: in 1878 the famous inventor Thomas Edison opened the Edison Electric Light Company. Within two years, the enterprising Edison, who in addition to his technical abilities possessed a financial sense, received a patent for the construction of a vacuum incandescent lamp. After this, the inventor began to persistently achieve the universal introduction of electric lighting, improving and reducing the cost of production of light bulbs. In 1889, his company was renamed Edison General Electric Company: it united the whole chain of electricity production, including the manufacture of alternators, electricity meters, cables, plugs, and finally, the bulbs and electrical appliances themselves.
In the early 1890s, Edison moved away from direct management of the company, remaining on the board of directors and focusing on inventive activities. Owners Edison GE and its competitor Thomson-Houston Electric (founded in 1883 with the participation of the famous physicist and engineer J. Thomson) came to the conclusion about the desirability of merging these companies. Thus, in April 1892, General Electric Company was formed - it is from this date that the history of the world famous corporation begins.
In 1900, General Electric established the first scientific and technical laboratory in Schenectady, New York. From that moment, GE launches a series of technological discoveries and breakthroughs. Some of the most successful developments of the company:
tungsten filament for the bulb (1910);
the first radio broadcast in America (1922);
the first electric locomotive in America (1923);
sound cinema (1926);
the first telecast in America (1928);
broadcasting on FM frequencies (1940);
the first American jet aircraft (1942);
electron microscope (1942);
rubber Lexan (1953-th - this invention GE is especially proud, because it was Lexan that were equipped with space suits, landing on the lunar surface in 1969);
artificial diamonds (1955);
halogen lamps (1956);
the first nuclear power plant (1957).
Of course, over time, the company had to abandon the independent organization of the unit - it was much more profitable to buy entire companies, then to turn them into additional GE departments.
In 1917, General Electric established a serial production of refrigerators (the first in the world), making this household appliance one of the main components of the American way of life, and for other countries, refrigerators became a symbol of the United States.
For a long time the name of the company has become synonymous with innovation and quality. However, having achieved this success, General Electric Company was not in a hurry to descend from heaven to earth. Another important direction of General Electric - aircraft construction - brought the company the glory of the creator of the first American jet P-59A. In 1974, General Electric, together with the French company SNECMA, began to produce aircraft engines for civil aviation. Airplanes from the company General Electric Aircraft Engines are equipped with airliners around the world. Today, General Electric cooperates closely with such companies as Boeing and Aeroflot.
General Electric has gone a long way from the modest laboratory of the great inventor to the supercorporation with a huge number of subsidiaries and units operating in almost all countries of the world. The current activity of General Electric is the development of new, high-speed and reliable aircraft engines, research into the processing of inorganic debris, the creation of environmentally friendly artificial resins and plastics and, of course, the production of household electrical appliances (including refrigerators, washing machines).