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  • 8/29/2004

Charles F. Kettering


August 29,1876 -November 25,1958)

Charles Franklin Kettering was born in northernOhio. He was a farmer, school teacher, mechanic, engineer, scientist, inventor and social philosopher. He had poor eyesight. He had an electrical engineering degree. He held that new ideas can be developed through cooperative team efforts. This has been applied to a broad range of interests. He graduated fromOhio State University in1904.

Kettering held more than 300 patents. He invented the all-electric starting, ignition and lighting system for automobiles. All-electric starting replaced the crank ignition for automobiles. First incorporated in the 1912Cadillac, all-electric starting aided in the growth of the U.S. auto industry. His patents include a portable lighting system,Freon, aWorld War I "aerial torpedo," a treatment of venereal disease, and an incubator for premature infants.
Kettering developed an engine-driven generator, named the 'Delco.'
He developed the idea of Duco paint andethyl gasoline. He helped develop diesel engines and solar energy. He was a pioneer in the application of magnetism to medical diagnostic techniques.
Kettering was a researcher for the U.S. automotive industry. He formed the Dayton Engineering Laboratories company, Delco. It was sold toGeneral Motors. It was the foundation for the General Motors Research Corporation. Kettering became vice president of General Motors Research Corporation in 1920. He held the position as head of research for General Motors for 27 years.
In1998, GMI Engineering and Management Institute (Formerly General Motors Institute), ofFlint, Michigan, changed its name toKettering University in honor of Charles "Boss" Kettering. His ideals, prowess, and his belief in Co-Operative Education continues there.

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