Companies | The Silicon Engine | Computer History Museum

Founder of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company George Westinghouse Jr. formed the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in Pittsburg, PA in 1886. The company became one of Thomas Edison’s main rivals in the development of the American electricity system. Known to consumers for its home appliances, by the 1960s Westinghouse was broad-based electrical engineering conglomerate. A partnership with Siemens of Germany in silicon power transistors in Youngwood, the Central Research Laboratory at Churchill Borough, and new product development at Wilkinsburg, all in PA, made Westinghouse the third largest semiconductor-related research organization in the US, after Bell Labs and General Electric. Along with Texas Instruments, Westinghouse was one of the first companies to recognize the promise of integrated circuit (IC) technology for serving the Cold War needs of the Department of Defense (DoD). A contract to explore the concept of molecular electronics in the late 1950s led to the establishment of an integrated circuit operation in Elkwood, MD in 1962. By 1967 Elkridge housed about 1,200 employees in a 170,000 square foot facility and had sales of $15 million. The division closed in 1968.