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William D. Coolidge

AKA William David Coolidge

Born: 23-Oct-1873
Birthplace: Hudson, MA
Died: 4-Feb-1975
Location of death: Schenectady, NY
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Vale Cemetery, Schenectady, NY

Gender: Male
Religion: Unitarian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Tungsten filaments and Coolidge tubes

Physicist William D. Coolidge developed ductile tungsten, a pliable form of the metal that replaced the more brittle carbon fibers of Thomas Edison's original design in incandescent light bulbs, allowing mass production of better quality bulbs. Coolidge later adapted ductile tungsten to greatly increase the stability and longevity of x-ray tubes, which became known as Coolidge tubes and led to the diagnostic imaging industry. His later work also had applications in submarine signaling and allowed x-rays to be more safely handled by lab technicians.

Father: Albert Edward Coolidge (shoemaker)
Mother: Martha Alice Shattuck Coolidge
Wife: Ethel Westcott Woodard (m. 1908, d. Feb-1915, two children)
Son: Lawrence David Coolidge
Daughter: Elizabeth Coolidge Smith
Wife: Dorothy Elizabeth MacHaffie (nanny, m. 1916)

    High School: Hudson High School, Hudson, MA (1891)
    University: BS Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1896, 1901-05)
    Teacher: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1896-97)
    University: PhD Physics, University of Leipzig (1899)
    Scholar: Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1899-1901)

    National Inventors Hall of Fame 1975
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 1944 (by the Franklin Institute)
    IEEE Edison Medal 1927
    Hughes Medal 1927
    Rumford Prize 1914
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science
    American Chemical Society
    American Philosophical Society
    American Physical Society
    IEEE
    National Academy of Sciences
    Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society
    Washington Academy of Sciences
    General Electric Vice President of Research (1940-44)
    General Electric Physico-chemical research (1905-40)
    English Ancestry


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