Westinghouse Collection

Mission Statement

From the invention of the air brake and automobile shock absorbers to the development of railroad signaling and the modern weekend, the Westinghouse story is an integral part of Western Pennsylvania’s 250 year history of innovation.

As part of the merger with the History Center, all of the Westinghouse Museum’s archival materials and museum artifacts were added to the History Center’s collections. The History Center’s Westinghouse collection preserves the legacy of George Westinghouse and his many companies and shows the impact his industrial innovations have made on the world from right here in Western Pennsylvania.

George Westinghouse

Learn more about George Westinghouse and his influence on the world in the History Center’s Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition. The exhibit includes full-size reproductions of the Westinghouse robots “Electro” and his pal “Sparko,” and the original duplicate time capsule, which were on display at the New York World’s Fair in 1940. Also in Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation are other artifacts from the Westinghouse Electric Company, The Westinghouse Air Brake Company, and George Westinghouse’s Union Switch & Signal Company, including an air brake.

Visitors can also enjoy a touchscreen interactive of George Westinghouse and see a 17-foot Westinghouse sign in the History Center’s first floor Great Hall.

Collection Highlights

Westinghouse family artifacts including:

  • Monogramed Tiffany gold-trimmed Westinghouse family dinnerware
  • Russian tea set given to the Westinghouses by the Ambassador to Russia
  • George Westinghouse’s personal, monogrammed grooming set
  • One-of-a-kind white marble bust of George Westinghouse done by an Italian sculptor in 1884

Westinghouse Electric Company early appliances including:

  • 1925 Westinghouse “Automatic” Electric Range
  • Two-door Westinghouse Refrigerator, from 1930, the first year that Westinghouse manufactured electric refrigerators
  • A variety of Westinghouse electric range clocks
  • A variety of early Westinghouse radios and televisions
  • Other early appliances, such as coffee pots, waffle irons, and electric fans

Other artifacts and archival materials from the collections include:

  • Documents, letters, photographs, and advertisements from the Westinghouse companies and the Westinghouse family
  • Complete set of the Westinghouse Electric Company’s monthly employee magazine
  • Complete set of the Westinghouse Engineer monthly magazine
  • Complete set of Westinghouse Air Brake Company employment cards from the late 1800s through the 1980s
  • 23 short industrial movie films of the Westinghouse Electric Company, Westinghouse Air Brake Company and the Westinghouse Machine Company, some of which were created for use at the 1904 St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exhibition
  • Original early 1930s design sketches by Westinghouse industrial designer Ralph Kruck