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Bion Arnold: Biography == |+|
== Biography ==
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|−|<p>Born: 14 April 1861<br>Died: 29 January 1930 </p> |+|
Born: 14 April 1861<br>Died: 29 January 1930
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|−|<p>Bion Arnold was born on 14 April 1861 near Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated from Hillsdale College in 1884 and then pursued graduate work at Cornell University and the University of Nebraska. </p> |+|
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|−|<p>Arnold spent his life on projects that eased urban living. After he graduated from college, he formed a company that would help the nation’s railways convert from team to electric power. In 1893 he built the Chicago World fair’s intramural railroad, which marked the first commercial use of a third rail. From 1902 to 1907 he was Chicago’s consulting engineer and was thus responsible for overseeing the construction of their street railways. Afterward, he worked on the city’s subway efforts. Arnold’s expertise was much in demand; he also worked on transportation systems for San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Providence. One of his most ambitious projects involved the electrification of New York’s Grand Central Station, a task that Arnold worked on for five years and which cost 60 million dollars. In addition to his critical work on railways, he invented a magnetic clutch and improved storage batteries. During World War I , he served in the Army Signal Corps and during that time studied aircraft and torpedo production. </p> |+|
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|−|<p>Arnold was [[Presidents of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE)|president of the AIEE]] in 1903 and 1904. He was also a member of the AAAS, former president of the Western Society for Engineers and active member of several veterans associations. <br> </p> |+|
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|−|<p>See also: [[ Papers of Bion J. Arnold| Papers of Bion J. Arnold]] </p> |+|
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|−|<p>[[Category: People_and_organizations]] [[Category:Engineers]] </p> |+|
Revision as of 15:33, 3 March 2014
Born: 14 April 1861
Died: 29 January 1930
Throughout the long and eminently successful career of Bion Joseph Arnold, his initiative, ingenuity and resourcefulness have been recognized by not only his fellow engineers, but also by the general public who know him well for his inventions, extensive consulting practice and the installation and direction of numerous public utility services.
He was born at Casnovia, Michigan in 1861, and was educated in the Ashland, Nebraska public schools, the University of Nebraska and at Hillsdale College, Michigan. He received the degrees B.S. from Hillsdale, in 1884, and M.E., 1887; later he took a postgraduate course in electrical engineering at Cornell, and in 1897 he received the degree E.E. from the University of Nebraska, and, at various times, many honorary degrees.
In his boyhood Col. Arnold constructed models of farm implements, a steam engine, steam plant, bicycle and, most remarkable a working model of the standard Burlington locomotive, complete in all details and 1/16 full size. The locomotives which entranced him as a child drew his interest as a young man to the railroad and its problems. Fame first came to him in 1893 by the design and building of the Intramural Elevated Railway at the Columbian Exposition, in Chicago. This was the first commercial installation of the third rail on a large scale, and it led to a wide practice as consulting engineer for steam and electric railways. From 1902 to 1907 he was Chicago’s consulting engineer and was thus responsible for overseeing the construction of their street railways. Later he did the pioneer work of installation for such roads as the Chicago, Milwaukee Electric Railway, and the Lansing, St. Johns and St. Louis Railway, in Michigan, and other transportation systems in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Providence. For the latter he developed in 1900 an a-c single-phase system. He converted from steam to electrical operation the Grand Trunk Railroad through the St. Clair Tunnel from Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. The single phase high-voltage system for heavy electric railway work was adopted here for the first time.
Other important commissions Col. Arnold carried out where the development of the electrification of the Grand Central Terminal, New York, and the development of the subway system of New York, a task that Arnold worked on for five years and which cost 60 million dollars. He has been consultant on surface and underground traction matters at various times for cities all over the country, and consulting engineer for numerous railroad commissions. In addition to his critical work on railways, he invented a magnetic clutch and improved storage batteries. He maintained headquarters at Chicago.
During World War I, Col. Arnold served in various capacities, being assigned as Lieut. Col., Aviation Section, 1917, to make a complete survey of aircraft supply and production conditions for the Army and Navy, and to take charge of the development and production of aerial torpedoes. His most recent commission was Col. Auxiliary Corps, 1925. Col. Arnold has served the Institute on various committees and was president of the AIEE in 1903 and 1904, and was a member of numerous other societies, among them, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Western Society of Engineers, and American Society for Promotion of Engineering Education.
Papers of Bion J. Arnold