Stephen Wilcox worked with George Babcock to invent the water tube steam boiler. This boiler allowed safer and more efficient production of steam. Wilcox, who was born in Westerly, Rhode Island, began inventing at a young age and eventually, turned his attention to steam boilers. In 1856, he created a safety water tube boiler with inclined tubes.
It was the forerunner of the model he and Babcock patented in 1867. With their new patent in hand, the two men established a partnership which later became the Babcock & Wilcox Company. The firm's boilers soon paved the way for the development of high pressure, high temperature power plants for electricity production. Babcock & Wilcox boilers were also used to power U.S. Navy and Merchant Marine ships, beginning a relationship that continues today.
Currently, Babcock & Wilcox is a leader in its industry, designing, supplying, and servicing power generation systems and equipment worldwide.