Thomas Willson

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The Lady In The Second Floor Window.jpg
Thomas Willson
Thomas Leopold Willson.jpg
Willson c. 1914
Born(1860-03-14)March 14, 1860
DiedDecember 20, 1915(1915-12-20) (aged 55)
Nationality Canadian
OccupationInventor
Willson's experimental phosphate mill in Gatineau Park Willson Mill At Gatineau Park.jpg
Willson's experimental phosphate mill in Gatineau Park

Thomas Leopold "Carbide" Willson (March 14, 1860 December 20, 1915) was a Canadian inventor.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

An inventor is a person who creates or discovers a new method, form, device or other useful means that becomes known as an invention. The word inventor comes from the Latin verb invenire, invent-, to find. The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term, limited monopoly on inventions determined to be sufficiently novel, non-obvious, and useful. Although inventing is closely associated with science and engineering, inventors are not necessarily engineers nor scientists.

He was born on a farm near Princeton, Ontario in 1860 and went to school in Hamilton, Ontario. By the age of 21, he had designed and patented the first electric arc lamps used in Hamilton. He moved to the United States in search of opportunities to sell his ideas.

Princeton, Ontario human settlement in Ontario, Canada

Princeton is a community in Blandford-Blenheim, which is part of Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. The community is named after Princeton, New Jersey.

Hamilton, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. An industrialized city in the Golden Horseshoe at the west end of Lake Ontario, Hamilton has a population of 536,917, and its metropolitan area, which includes Burlington and Grimsby, has a population of 747,545. The city is about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Toronto, with which the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is formed.

Arc lamp a light created by electrical breakdown of gas

An arc lamp or arc light is a lamp that produces light by an electric arc. The carbon arc light, which consists of an arc between carbon electrodes in air, invented by Humphry Davy in the first decade of the 1800s, was the first practical electric light. It was widely used starting in the 1870s for street and large building lighting until it was superseded by the incandescent light in the early 20th century. It continued in use in more specialized applications where a high intensity point light source was needed, such as searchlights and movie projectors until after World War II. The carbon arc lamp is now obsolete for most of these purposes, but it is still used as a source of high intensity ultraviolet light.

In 1892, he discovered an economically efficient process for creating calcium carbide, which is used in the production of acetylene gas. In 1895, he sold his patent to Union Carbide.

Calcium carbide chemical compound

Calcium carbide, also known as calcium acetylide, is a chemical compound with the chemical formula of CaC2. Its main use industrially is in the production of acetylene and calcium cyanamide.

Acetylene chemical compound

Acetylene (systematic name: ethyne) is the chemical compound with the formula C2H2. It is a hydrocarbon and the simplest alkyne. This colorless gas is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is unstable in its pure form and thus is usually handled as a solution. Pure acetylene is odorless, but commercial grades usually have a marked odor due to impurities.

Union Carbide company

Union Carbide Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company. It currently employs more than 2,400 people. Union Carbide produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some are high-volume commodities and others are specialty products meeting the needs of smaller markets. Markets served include paints and coatings, packaging, wire and cable, household products, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, textiles, agriculture, and oil and gas. The company is a former component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Union Carbide was 50.9% stakeholder in Union Carbide India Limited, the company responsible for the Bhopal disaster.

In the same year, he married Mary Parks in California and moved back to Canada. He built a house for his mother in Woodstock, Ontario in 1895. During 1900 and 1901, he moved to Ottawa and opened carbide plants both in Ontario (Merritton and Ottawa) and Quebec (Shawinigan). In 1911, he founded the International Marine Signal Company to manufacture marine buoys and lighthouse beacons.

Woodstock, Ontario City in Ontario, Canada

Woodstock is a city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. The city has a population of 40,902 according to the 2016 Canadian census. Woodstock is the seat of Oxford County, at the head of the non-navigable Thames River, approximately 128 km from Toronto, and 43 km from London, Ontario. The city is known as the Dairy Capital of Canada and promotes itself as "The Friendly City".

Ottawa Federal capital city in Ontario, Canada

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. It stands on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of southern Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec; the two form the core of the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area (CMA) and the National Capital Region (NCR). As of 2016, Ottawa had a city population of 934,243 and a metropolitan population of 1,323,783 making it the fourth-largest city and the fifth-largest CMA in Canada. In June 2019, the City of Ottawa estimated it had surpassed a population of 1 million.

Shawinigan City in Quebec, Canada

Shawinigan is a city located on the Saint-Maurice River in the Mauricie area in Quebec, Canada. It had a population of 50,060 as of the Canada 2011 Census.

He was the first person to own an automobile in Ottawa.[ citation needed ]

In 1907 he built a summer house on Meech Lake in what is now Gatineau Park. (The house is now owned by the federal government, and notable for being the site of negotiations on the Meech Lake Accord.) In 1911, he began experimenting with the condensation of phosphoric acid in the manufacture of fertilizers at a mill on Meech Creek within the park. Due to this venture and running out of capital, he lost nearly all of his estate to his creditor, American tobacco king J.B. "Buck" Duke.

Meech Lake lake in Canada

Meech Lake is located within Gatineau Park in the Municipality of Chelsea, Quebec, Canada. The lake was named after Reverend Asa Meech, an early settler in this area.

Gatineau Park park in Quebec, Canada

Gatineau Park is located in the Outaouais region of Quebec, Canada. Administered by the National Capital Commission as part of the National Capital Region, Gatineau Park is a 361 square kilometres (139 sq mi) wedge of land extending north and west from the city of Gatineau. With a perimeter of 179.2 kilometres (111.3 mi), the park includes parts of the municipalities of Chelsea, Pontiac, La Pêche, and the City of Gatineau. The main entrance to the park is 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of downtown Ottawa, Ontario.

Meech Lake Accord

The Meech Lake Accord was a series of proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canada negotiated in 1987 by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and all 10 Canadian provincial premiers. It was intended to persuade the government of Quebec to symbolically endorse the 1982 constitutional amendments by providing for some decentralization of the Canadian federation.

In 1915, he died of a heart attack in New York City while trying to raise funds for a hydroelectric project in Labrador. His dream was finally realized in 1974 as the Churchill Falls project.

His name was given to an island on the Saguenay river, near the Shipshaw powerhouse.

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Carbide lamps, or acetylene gas lamps, are simple lamps that produce and burn acetylene (C2H2) which is created by the reaction of calcium carbide (CaC2) with water (H2O).

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