Frank Julian Sprague
Born July 25 1857 – Died October 25 1934
Electric Railway System
Patent No. 321,149
Hailed during his lifetime as the "Father of Electric Traction," Frank Sprague's achievements in horizontal transportation were paralleled by equally remarkable achievements in vertical transportation. During a six-decade career, Sprague developed the electric railway, early electric elevators, and the commercial electric motor.
Born in Milford, Connecticut, Sprague graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1878. After the Academy, he developed a number of significant inventions. The first was a constant-speed, non-sparking motor with fixed brushes, the first motor to maintain constant revolutions per minute under different loads. Sprague's company sold 250 motors in two years.