George Babcock (1832-1893), an American inventor and mechanic who, along with Stephen Wilcox, invented an improved water tube steam boiler in 1867 that was capable of providing a much safer and more efficient production of steam. This boiler was able to withstand very high pressures and ensured a high standard of protection against explosions. Babcock's steam boiler paved the way for the development of large, high-pressure and high-temperature steam power plants, still in use today throughout the world. The boiler was first manufactured in Providence, Rhode Island and then in New York where the firm of Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) was incorporated in 1881. The firm remains today as a multinational energy corporation. In 1882, four Babcock and Wilcox boilers powered Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street station in New York City, the first public utility. Edison once wrote that a B&W boiler was "the best boiler God has permitted man yet to make."
Inventor Profile: George Babcock (National Inventors Hall of Fame)
George Babcock and Stephen Wilcox named to National Inventors Hall of Fame (The Babcock and Wilcox Company)