Amber’s used MRI systems and CT scanners have a long and complicated history, with several corporations producing the MRI systems and CT equipment we offer. One of the most well known of these corporations is GE. General Electric, or GE as it is better known, is one of the world’s largest leaders in healthcare. Their business ventures go above and beyond medical technology however, with GE operating a total of eight different segments. GE’s history began in 1889 when Thomas Edison created the Edison General Electric Company by merging his company with Drexel, Morgan and Co., who had funded his research. In 1892, the Edison General Electric Company merged with Charles Coffin’s company, Thomas-Houston Electric Company, to become the GE we know today. Here are five interesting but lesser known facts about the large and multinational company that creates some of our MRI systems and CT scanners.
1.) General Electric is the only company listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Index today that was also included in the original index in 1896.
2.) Katharine Burr Blodgett was the first woman scientist to join the GE Research laboratory. Her father had been a patent attorney at GE, and headed the department there, but he was shot and killed by a burglar just shortly before Katharine was born. After visiting the GE plant in Schenectady, NY during her senior year at Bryn Mawr College, her fathers former colleagues introduced her to research chemist, Irving Langmuir. She then secured a job in industrial research after promising to broaden her scientific education. After garnering a Master’s Degree, she began working at GE in 1918, where she later became the first woman to garner a PhD in Physics from Cambridge University. She later used film to invent non-reflecting, invisible glass in 1939. This type of nonreflective coating is called Langmuir-Blodgett film. It was first used for the film Gone With The Wind and is now widely used for projectors and cameras in the film industry. The glass was also used in WWII, for submarine periscopes and airplane spy cameras.
3.) In 2004, GE bought 80% of Universal Pictures from Vivendi, while Vivendi bought 20% of NBC and formed NBC Universal. NBC Universal is responsible for multiple tv channels and shows, film studios, and marketing all over the globe.
4.) In the early 1980’s, GE entered into an agreement with Japan’s Hitachi, Ltd., another leader in the healthcare industry, to create and market Hitachi’s robots in the U.S.
5.) GE’s CEO from 1981 to 2001 was Jack Welch. He is famous for his nickname “Neutron Jack” because of his habit of firing the lowest 10% of managers every year. During his reign, GE’s value rose %4000, and exited many of the traditional markets it had competed in for years, like consumer appliances and air conditioning. GE then entered completely new areas like medical technology, finance, television and services. When he left GE, he received a severance pay of $417 million, the largest such payment in history. He also wrote a bestselling book about management called “Winning,” and is one of the wealthiest men in America.