Elmer Sperry – Short Biography
Who is Elmer Sperry? He’s just the prolific inventor that played a pivotal role in the creation of technological advancements in navigation.
He invented gyroscopic compasses (or gyrocompass) along with stabilizers that made piloting airplanes, spacecraft, and ships more reliable.
The inventions Sperry made in his firm, the Sperry Gyroscope Company, were adopted by the US Navy. They became part of the required safety instruments in the growing airline industry.
Elmer Sperry – A Life Spent Being Inventive
Elmer Sperry is recognized as the “father of modern navigational technology.” He obtained his education at the State Normal and Training School. By the time he was 20, Sperry had managed to form the first of his eight firms, the Sperry Electric Company, which was involved in the making of arc lamps and dynamos.
His other companies included the Chicago Fuse Wire Company and the Electric Mining Machine Company. The former fabricated electric fuse wires using machines Sperry had invented while the latter manufactured machines that were used in mining. While Sperry had a lot on his plate, his major success was yet to come, the gyroscope.
Soon Sperry had built a reputation as a gifted inventor. At this time, a gentleman named G. M. Hopkins had managed to invent the first electrical gyroscope. This was a disk that was mounted so that it was fixed in one position despite movements made on its base. Sperry took this technology a step further, engineering a gyroscope that could replace the unreliable and faulty magnetic compass that was used for navigating ships.