Kettering was a researcher, first for National Cash Register (NCR) in Dayton, Ohio, and then for the U.S. automotive industry, founding the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (shortened to DELCO) with Edward A. Deeds and Harold E. Talbott.
Delco was eventually sold to General Motors. It became the foundation for the General Motors Research Corporation and Delco Electronics. GM bought DELCO for $75, 000 (Million), a lot of money those days!
Kettering became vice president of General Motors Research Corporation in 1920 and held the position for 27 years.
Some of Charles F. Kettering’s accomplishments include:
- Kettering held 140 U.S. patents.
- He invented the all-electric starting, ignition, and lighting system for automobiles. Electric starters replaced crank (manual) starting of automobiles.
- First incorporated in the 1912 Cadillac, all-electric starting aided in the growth of the U.S. auto industry by making the automobile easy for nearly anyone to start and use.
- Other patents included a portable lighting system, Freon, a World War I “aerial torpedo”, the Kettering Bug, and an incubator for premature infants.
- His engine-driven generator was combined with storage batteries to form a “Delco Plant”, providing an electrical lighting system for farmhouses and other locations remote from an electrical power grid.
- He developed the idea of Duco paint and ethyl gasoline.
- He helped develop diesel engines and ways to harness solar energy.
- He was a pioneer in the application of magnetism to medical diagnostic techniques.
- His inventions–especially that of the electric automobile starter, made him very wealthy.
- In 1945, he helped found what became the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, based on the premise that American industrial research techniques could be applied to cancer research.
- He built a home in 1904 which was the first one in America to have air-conditioning.
- He was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1929 – Man of the Year
- He donated big sums of money to cancer research
Researched by Earl Niemoth of the YES941 Network.