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Who killed Westinghouse? Logo
Stories by Steve Massey * Illustration by Daniel Marsula

A brief look at events over the past 111 years at Westinghouse.

1886 Charter granted for Westinghouse Electric Co.
   
1891 Builds first high-voltage transmission line from San Antonio Canyon to Pomona and San Bernardino, Calif.
   
1893 Lights World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the greatest display of incandescent lighting to that time.
   
1895 Builds generators for power plant at Niagara Falls.
   
1900 Revolutionizes the generation of electricity from coal by installing the first steam generator at Hartford Electric and Light Co.
   
1909 Introduces continuous-filament tungsten lamp.
   
1910 George Westinghouse retires after losing control of the company when it went into receivership following the financial panic of 1907
   
1915 Establishes pension plan for all employees.
   
1917 Develops first fully automatic electric range.
   
1920 KDKA broadcasts results of Harding-Cox election, the first commercial radio broadcast.
   
1928 Introduces the thermal-trip circuit breaker and the iconoscope, the first television camera tube.
   
1934 Installs electric walkways in Marshall Field's Chicago store.
   
1939 Builds first long-range warning ground radar.
   
1940 Introduces the Laundromat, the first flexible-mounted automatic washing machine.
   
1945 Company renamed Westinghouse Electric Corp.
   
1949 First broadcast of "Studio One," which ran nearly 10 years and was U.S. television's premier dramatic series.
   
1953 Builds an atomic engine that becomes the prototype for the USS Nautilus, which is launched two years later.
   
1954 Starts Westinghouse Credit to finance sales of Westinghouse televisions, refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances.
   
1957 Westinghouse-powered plant in Shippingport becomes the first U.S. nuclear power plant.
   
1965 Gemini 6 and 7 missions use Westinghouse rendezvous radar for space travel.
   
1969 Westinghouse cameras record man's first walk on the moon.
   
1972 Sells electric housewares business.
   
1974 Sells major appliance business.
   
1981 Acquires Teleprompter Corp., the world's second-largest cable television operator.
   
1982 Sells lamp business.
   
1985 Sells its Group W Cable television operations for $1.7 billion.
   
1988 New Chairman John Marous has big plans for Westinghouse Credit. The financial service unit, on its way to earning record profits of $159 million, begins committing billions of dollars in financing to commercial real estate ventures and leveraged buyouts.
   
1990 Chairman Paul Lego tells Wall Street analysts the company will double sales, revenues and profits by the end of the 1990s. Says the financial services unit, coming off a year of record profits, was healthier than critics think.
   
1991 In February, Lego announces a massive restructuring of Westinghouse Credit, including a $975 million charge for loan losses. Another writeoff of $1.7 billion follows in October, resulting in a loss for the year of $1.1 billion.
   
1992 Westinghouse cuts its dividend twice, from $1.40 to 72 cents, then to 40 cents. The company posts a $2.8 billion charge for restructuring, bringing Westinghouse Credit losses to $5.8 billion and resulting in a companywide loss of $1.3 billion for 1992.
   
1993 Lego steps down and is replaced by Pepsico hotshot Michael Jordon. The company reports its third consecutive loss, this one of $326 million.
   
1995 Jordan makes $5.4 billion bid for CBS.

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