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Paul Kollsman

Born: 22-Feb-1900
Birthplace: Freudenstadt, Germany
Died: 17-Mar-1982
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor, Business

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Barometric altimeter

Paul Kollsman invented the sensitive barometric altimeter, a device which measures air pressure and adjusts for changes in temperature and barometric pressure to determine an airplane's height above sea level. Kollsman first demonstrated his device in a 15-mile "blind" flight (guided solely by instruments) by pilot James Doolittle in 1929. Far more accurate than earlier height-measuring tools that worked only in daylight and fair weather, use of the altimeter led to scheduled passenger flights at night and in limited visibility. He started the Kollsman Instrument Company in 1928 with $500 in savings earned from his work as a mechanic and truck driver, and sold the company twelve years later for $4M. In the mechanism of an altimeter, the adjustable setting gage is still referred to as the "Kollsman window".

Wife: Julie Dorothea Baronin von Bodenhausen ("Eva", b. 7-Nov-1902, m. 15-Oct-1944, d. 7-Jul-1951)

    University: University of Stuttgart
    University: University of Munich

    National Inventors Hall of Fame
    Kollsman Instrument Co. (Founder & President, 1928)
    Bendix Mechanic (subsidiary Pioneer Instrument Co., 1923-28)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    German Ancestry

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