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Thomas E. Murray
|Died||August 21, 1929 (aged 68)|
|Website||Archived October 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine|
Thomas E. Murray (October 21, 1860 - July 21, 1929) was an American inventor and businessman who developed electric power plants for New York City as well as many electrical devices which influenced life around the world, including the dimmer switch and screw-in fuse. It has been said that he "invented everything from the power plant up to the light bulb".
Murray is considered one of the most prolific inventors in history after Thomas Edison, holding 462 U.S. patents in his name. However, unlike Edison, Murray did not patent the work of others under his name; the employee would have the patent in their name, and assign it to the Murray company. Also, if Murray worked with anyone else on an invention, their name would be listed on the patent.
Thomas E. Murray was born in Albany, New York, to an Irish family and was one of 12 children. Upon the death of his father when he was nine, he took three jobs to help support his family.
His son, Thomas E. Murray Jr., was also an engineer who worked with Edison.
In 1875, he was an apprentice at the Albany Iron & Machine works. In 1881, at the age of 21, he became the Chief Engineer of the Albany Waterworks. In 1887, Anthony N. Brady hired Murray to run the power station of the Albany Municipal Gas Co,
Murray was responsible for the power stations that powered New York City for the first half of the 20th century. He eventually was in complete charge of all the allied Edison companies in New York City, Brooklyn and Westchester.