Charles Kettering Inventions and Accomplishments


Charles Kettering was an American businessman whom was also an engineer that held over 180 patents for his inventions. His lists of inventions are very impressive. He began his career by inventing the first electric cash register and an easy to use credit system (which is the precursor to today’s credit system).

He is credited with building the first house in the US with electric air conditioning for his family. He believed that his inventions should be used for the betterment of not only all mankind but for personal use as well.

Kettering Most Notable Inventions

Kettering is renowned for inventing the incubator for premature infants. He is also the inventor of many other technologies that would soon find themselves integrated into everyday society. Some of his most notable inventions are:

Kettering was the inventor of the electric starter for cars which would allow anyone to drive a car. Before the electric starter cars were hand cranked with a lot of difficulty. He invented electric automobile lights for the interior of cars and an electric driven generator that could provide lighting for farmsteads that were too far off the beaten path to tie into the power grid of the time. The Delco lights lit up farms across the US. He also invented freon 12 that was used in air conditioning systems both in cars and in homes.

He invented leaded gasoline because of his belief that gasoline would be a scarce resource someday and putting additives in the gasoline would help cars get better mileage and reduce the need for gasoline. He coined the term Ethyl.

He was a visionary and one of the founding fathers of Delco automotive parts. Delco was eventually sold to General Motors which was one of Mr. Ketterings largest patrons.

During WWI Kettering invented the first aerial torpedo that had cardboard wings and could carry a payload of 300lbs worth of explosives. It changed how the war was fought.

Sloan- Kettering Institute
Charles Kettering made a lot of money off of his inventions and he used part of that money to open the Sloan-Kettering Institute which was adjacent to the then Memorial Hospital in Manhattan. The goal of the institute was to assist in cancer research and to help develop medical devices for the detection of cancer.

He invented the Kettering Hypotherm machine that was used to treat syphillis once it reached the brain by heating up the brain. Mr. Kettering died in his home in 1958 at 82 years old he was survived by his son and his son’s wife.