Science: Liberator of Mules

No name to conjure with is Frank Julian Sprague's, yet last week the foremost electrical engineers of the land and scores of other celebrities gathered in Manhattan to do him honor on his 75th birthday. They called him the "father of modern electric traction" (both horizontal and vertical). Listening quizzically, he beamed behind his mustache, half closed his keen old eyes.

Engineer Sprague was never a man for titles or labels. In 1889 he sold his Sprague Electric Railway & Motor Co. to Thomas Alva Edison. Forthwith his name was wiped from the rolling...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!