The William Stanley Legacy
During his lifetime, Berkshire resident William Stanley, Jr. (1858-1916) was granted 129 patents covering a wide range of electric devices. He is best known for his patented design for a coil “transformer” in 1885. This invention was the breakthrough needed to allow high voltage to be transported safely over long distances using alternating current (AC). In 1886, he demonstrated the first AC lighting system on the main street buildings of a small Berkshire town called Great Barrington.
By 1903, The Stanley Electric Manufacturing Company, a creator of transformers, auxiliary electrical equipment and appliances, had succeeded in garnering the interest of purchaser General Electric, another boon to the local economy. GE went on to become the number one employer in this area for over a century. William Stanley’s drive and industry gave the Berkshires a foothold on the future that continues even today. Hence, The William Stanley Business Park was named for the place that once before bore his name and was emblematic of his spirit and drive.
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