G. CURTIS (1860-1953)
Charles Gordon Curtis was
20, 1860 in Boston, Massachusetts.
He graduated from Columbia
with a civil
engineering degree in 1881. He also studied law at the New York Law School
and graduated in
1883. For several years, Curtis was a patent lawyer, but
decided to give up his
practice in 1891 to organize the C & C Electrical Motor Company to
manufacture electric motors and fans.
patented the first U.S.
turbine in 1899. Among his other achievements, the Curtis steam turbine
required one tenth the space and weighed one eighth as much as machines
replaced. He sold the rights to the turbine to GE in 1901. In 1910 he
awarded the Rumford Premium by the American Academy
for Arts &
Sciences for his improvement of the steam turbine. He then studied the
“scavenging” (removal of burned gases from cylinders) of two-stroke
engines and patented the Curtis system of scavenging in 1930.
credit Curtis with inventing the propulsion mechanism used in certain
torpedoes. He received the first annual award from the Gas Turbine
Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in
1950 he received the Holley Medal from ASME, also for his gas turbine
Charles Curtis died in
Islip, New York,
on March 10, 1953.