George Westinghouse was a prolific American inventor, engineer and entrepreneur. During the Civil War, he served in the New York Calvary then with the U.S. Navy. Westinghouse invented a device that could guide derailed train cars back onto the track. He also created the railway air brake, which helped trains operate more safely. This new braking system enabled the engineer to simultaneously activate all the train’s brakes from the locomotive. Prior to that point, the brakes where applied manually by a series of brakemen. This older system limited the speed of the train and was the cause of many derailments. Westinghouse also developed improved railroad signaling and switching systems. He was a pioneer in alternating electrical current technology that enables electricity to be provided to homes and businesses. Westinghouse was instrumental in harnessing the hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls. He also created a device for the safe transmission of natural gas.