William Joseph Hammer
He became a laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison in December 1879, and assisted in the development of Edison's incandescent electric light. He became one of the world's earliest experts in electric power distribution. He also built the world's first advertising sign using incandescent electric lights. He was Chief Engineer when the English Edison Electric Light company built a central station in London to power 3,000 incandescent lamps on the Holborn Viaduct. This was the first large scale demonstration of a central station powering incandescent lighting, preceding the Pearl Street Station in New York City. Hammer invented the electric advertising sign, by constructing a ten foot long, four foot high sign with 12 bulbs for each letter of the name "Edison," which had a rotating drum switch to light the letters one by one and then all at once. It was exhibited at the The Crystal Palacein London in February 1882.
He collected examples of the Edison lamp at various stages of development, as well as pioneering incandescent lamps by other inventors. The collection eventually was purchased by General Electric placed in the Greenfield Village Museum, established by Henry Ford.
He was a prominent promoter of Radium, after Marie and Pierre Curie gave him samples of Radium in 1902. He gave lectures on its properties and discussed its supposed curative powers, as well as writing a book based on his lectures and demonstrations of Radium and other luminous and phosphorescent substances. He was the first to propose Radium as a treatment for cancer. In 1903, he and Dr. Willy Meyer used Radium to treat an incurable tumor, and it was observed to shrink and become less painful, though the patient was not cured. He invented the luminous Radium dial for watches and other instruments, widely used in World War 1 and thereafter.
Hammer was an early promoter of aviation, and an associate of many of the aviation pioneers, and testified as an expert.
- "Maj. Hammer Dies. An Edison Pioneer. Won Distinction as Engineer, Scientist and General Staff Officer in War". New York Times. March 25, 1934. Retrieved 2011-11-08. "Major William J. Hammer, USA, retired, engineer, scientist and World War ... He was president of the Edison Pioneers in 1908, having entered the employ of ..."
- "William Joseph Hammer". Retrieved 2011-11-08.
-  Kahn, Mark "William J. Hammer Collection," National Air and Space Archives, Accession No. XXXX-0074. Pages 1-3. Retrieved November 11, 2011
- Tell, Darcy "Times Square spectacular: lighting up Broadway," Smithsonian Books in association with Harper Collins, 2007. Page 35. ISBN 978-0-06-088433-8.
-  Bryan, George S., "Edison: The man and his work," Alfred A. Knopf, 1926, page 158. Retrieved November 11, 2011
- Stross, Randall "The wizard of Menlo Park," Crown Publishing, 2001, page 128. ISBN 978-1-4000-4762-8.
-  Bryan, Ford Richardson and Evans, Sarah, "Henry's attic: some fascinating gifts to Henry Ford and his museum," Wayne State University Press, 2006. Page 297. ISBN 0-8143-2642-0. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- [Hammer, William Joseph "Radium, and other radio-active substances: polonium, actinium, and thorium, D. Van Nostrand Company, 1903. Retrieved November 11, 2011
-  Quinn, Susan "Marie Curie: a life," Da Capo Press, 1996. Page 196. ISBN 978-0-201-88794-5. Retrieved November 11, 2011
-  Gross, Ernie "This day in American history," Neal Schumann Publishers, 1990. Page 70. ISBN 1-55570-046-2. Retrieved November 11, 2011
-  Scientific American: Supplement, Volume 56, Number 1455, page 23315, November 21, 1903. Retrieved November 11, 2011
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language