Thomas E. Murray
Thomas E. Murray was an American inventor, entrepreneur, and influential figure in electric utilities at the beginning of the 20th century. He left school at age nine when his father died to begin helping to support his family. In 1875, he was hired by the Albany Iron and Machine Works as an apprentice, and by age 21 he was Chief Engineer of the Albany Waterworks.
Working with Anthony N. Brady, he moved from Albany to New York City, and organized, consolidated, and expanded New York City's electrical generation and transmission systems. He oversaw the building of major power stations that powered the city for the first half of the 20th century. His 462 patents covered everything from power plants to light sockets, including fuses, meters, switches, conduits, sockets, and dimmers.
His inventions improved the safety of interior electric wiring which helped give birth to the electrical appliance industry. Here his patents included an apartment refrigerator, air conditioner, and a dishwasher. Concerned about the environment, he patented anti-pollution devices for smokestacks. In 1910, he was awarded the Longstreth Medal from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia for Safety Devices for Interior Electric Wiring.