Westinghouse Electric Corporation
  • Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company (1886–1945)
  • Westinghouse Electric Corp. (1945–1997)
  • CBS Corp. (1997–2000)
Company typePublic (1916–1997)[1]
NYSE: WX (1916–1997)[1]
FoundedAugust 8, 1886; 137 years ago (1886-08-08)
FounderGeorge Westinghouse
DefunctApril 26, 2000; 23 years ago (2000-04-26)
FateRenamed "CBS Corporation" in 1997, then merged with Viacom in 2000
United States
Area served

The Westinghouse Electric Corporation (later CBS Corporation) was an American manufacturing company founded in 1886 by George Westinghouse. It was originally named "Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company" and was renamed "Westinghouse Electric Corporation" in 1945. The company acquired the CBS television network in 1995 and was renamed "CBS Corporation" until being acquired by Viacom in 1999, a merger completed in April 2000.[8] The CBS Corporation name was later reused for one of the two companies resulting from the split of Viacom in 2005.

The Westinghouse trademarks are owned by Westinghouse Electric Corporation,[9] and were previously part of Westinghouse Licensing Corporation.[9][10] The nuclear power business, Westinghouse Electric Company, was spun off from the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1999.



The evolution of Paramount
1912Famous Players Film Company is founded
1913Lasky Feature Play Company is founded
1914Paramount Pictures is founded as a film distributor
1916Famous Players and Lasky merge as Famous Players–Lasky and acquire Paramount
1920Group W forms with the launch of KDKA-AM
1927CBS is founded; Famous Players–Lasky assumes Paramount's name
1929Paramount buys 49% of CBS
1932Paramount sells back shares of CBS
1950Desilu is founded and CBS distributes its television programs
1952CBS creates the CBS Television Film Sales division
1958CBS Television Film Sales renamed to CBS Films
1966Gulf+Western buys Paramount
1968Gulf+Western acquires Desilu and renames it Paramount Television; CBS Films becomes CBS Enterprises
1970CBS Enterprises renamed to Viacom
1971Viacom is spun off from CBS as a separate company
1985Viacom buys full ownership of Showtime and MTV Networks
1986National Amusements buys Viacom
1989Gulf+Western renamed to Paramount Communications
1994Viacom acquires Paramount Communications
1995Westinghouse buys CBS
1997Westinghouse renamed to CBS Corporation
2000Viacom buys CBS Corporation
2001Viacom buys BET Networks
2005Viacom splits into second CBS Corporation and Viacom
2019CBS Corporation and Viacom re-merge to form ViacomCBS
2022ViacomCBS changes its name to Paramount Global
George Westinghouse, founder

Westinghouse Electric was founded by George Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 8, 1886. Building on the advancement of AC technology in Europe,[11] the firm became active in developing alternating current (AC) electric infrastructure throughout the United States. The company's largest factories were located in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lester, Pennsylvania[12] and Hamilton, Ontario, where they made turbines, generators, motors, and switch gear for the generation, transmission, and use of electricity.[13] In addition to George Westinghouse, early engineers working for the company included Frank Conrad, Benjamin Garver Lamme, Bertha Lamme (first woman mechanical engineer in the United States), Oliver B. Shallenberger, William Stanley, Nikola Tesla, Stephen Timoshenko, and Vladimir Zworykin.

Early on, Westinghouse was a rival to Thomas Edison's electric company. In 1892, Edison was merged with Westinghouse's chief AC rival, the Thomson-Houston Electric Company, making an even bigger competitor, General Electric. Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company changed its name to Westinghouse Electric Corporation in 1945.[citation needed]


In 1990, Westinghouse experienced a serious setback when the corporation lost over one billion dollars due to bad high-risk, high-fee, high-interest loans made by its Westinghouse Credit Corporation lending arm.[14]

In an attempt to revitalize the corporation, the board of directors appointed outside management in the form of CEO Michael H. Jordan, who brought in numerous consultants to help re-engineer the company in order to realize the potential that they saw in the broadcasting industry. Westinghouse reduced the workforce in many of its traditional industrial operations and made further acquisitions in broadcasting to add to its already substantial Group W network, including Infinity Broadcasting, TNN, CMT, American Radio Systems, and rights to NFL broadcasting. These investments cost the company over fifteen billion dollars. To recoup its costs, Westinghouse sold many other operations, including its defense electronics division, its metering and load control division (which was sold to ABB), its residential security division, the office furniture company Knoll, and Thermo King.[15]

Westinghouse purchased CBS Inc. in 1995 for $5.4 billion.[16] Westinghouse Electric Corporation changed its name to and became the original "CBS Corporation" in 1997.[17] Also in 1997, the Power Generation Business Unit, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, was sold to Siemens AG of Germany.[18] A year later, CBS sold all of its commercial nuclear power businesses to British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL).[19] In connection with that sale, certain rights to use the Westinghouse trademarks were granted to the newly formed BNFL subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Company.[19] That company was sold to Toshiba in 2006.[20]


During the 20th century, Westinghouse engineers and scientists were granted more than 28,000 U.S. patents, the third most of any company.[21]

Products and sponsorships

Environmental incidents

There have been a number of Westinghouse-related environmental incidents in the US. Below is a short list of these. All of these are chemical pollution incidents; none of them involve nuclear reactors or nuclear pollution.

Timeline of company evolution


1888 Westinghouse brochure advertising their Alternating system
Share of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, issued March 31, 1910


1900s to 1920s

1924 book on protective relays for AC and DC electrical systems by the company

1930s and 1940s

1950s to 1970s

Logo designed by Paul Rand in 1959


1990s to 2020s




Overseas subsidiaries

Westinghouse established subsidiary companies in several countries including British Westinghouse and Società Italiana Westinghouse in Vado Ligure, Italy. British Westinghouse became a subsidiary of Metropolitan-Vickers in 1919 and the Italian Westinghouse factory was taken over by Tecnomasio in 1921.

See also


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