Our Legacy of Innovation

No other American company can claim a heritage of innovation as deep and broad as GE. From Thomas Alva Edison鈥檚 first incandescent light bulb to the latest jet engine brimming with internet-connected sensors and 3D-printed parts, GE has pioneered technologies that have spurred world-transforming changes and improved the lives of billions. We鈥檝e encapsulated GE鈥檚 global impact in nine different industries, highlighting four key technological transformations where we have consistently led the way. Together, these moments trace an arc of innovation that has no parallel鈥攁 proven 150-year commitment to progress that will help propel a brighter future for the world.

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Four ways GE has changed the world we live in

Transportation

For over a century, GE鈥檚 creations have powered vehicles in the air, at sea, and on land.

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Power

GE鈥檚 portfolio of power equipment generates one-third of the world鈥檚 electricity.

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Devices

GE鈥檚 creations improve efficiency, lower costs, speed production, and save lives.

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Environment

GE is committed to creating a cleaner, more productive world.

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1918

GE builds a record-capacity water-wheel generator for Niagara Falls.

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1920

The first hydro turbine is built by Neyret Beylier Piccard Pictet (NBPP), the company that later became part of Alstom Energy, which is later acquired by GE.

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1922

Niagara orders two generators from GE to replace the original 65,000 kVA unit.

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1936

A GE 82,500-kva turbine is first brought online at the Hoover Dam, which would soon become the largest hydropower facility in the world.

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1942

The Grand Coulee Dam, with generators made by GE, opens in Washington.

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1965

Alstom, whose energy assets were later acquired by GE, optimizes the classic Francis water turbine, increasing output.

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1970

Alstom, whose energy assets were later acquired by GE, optimizes the classic Pelton turbine, increasing output.

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1984

The Itaipu Dam between Brazil and Paraguay goes online, becoming the world鈥檚 largest generator of hydropower to date.

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2012

GE is part of a consortium that builds turbines for Three Gorges Dam in China.

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2015

GE expands its renewable energy portfolio with the acquisition of Alstom Energy.

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2016

GE unveils Digital Hydro Plant technology, which makes hydropower more efficient through automation and data-driven maintenance.

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2017

GE launches a brand-new aerating hydro turbine technology.

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2018

GE launches a new technology that allows fish to safely pass through hydroelectric power stations.

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1919

The GE supercharger makes its maiden flight over McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.

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1921

Lt. John Macready sets a new world altitude record with a GE Supercharger.

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1929

GE develops the innovative magneto compass.

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1937

Howard Hughes sets a transcontinental air record.

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1941

GE builds the first US jet engine, the I-A.

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1943

US military aircraft equipped with approximately 100,000 GE turbo superchargers for the war effort.

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1944

The US Army Air Corps flies its first operational jet fighter, powered by a GE J33.

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1949

GE introduces the J47, which becomes the world鈥檚 most-produced jet engine.

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1954

GE鈥檚 Small Aircraft Engine Division in Lynn, Massachusetts, designs the T58 鈥渂aby gas turbine.鈥

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1957

GE develops the J93, the first engine to operate at three times the speed of sound.

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1965

GE unveils the TF39 turbofan.

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1970

GE鈥檚 first afterburning turbofan, the F101, is selected to power the US Air Force鈥檚 new B-1 Bomber.

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1978

GE delivers its first T700 to power Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters.

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1982

The CFM56 Engine is introduced.

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2002

The GE90-115B engine sets a world record for thrust.

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2004

GE begins development of the GEnx engine.

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2008

GE and Safran Aircraft Engines unveil the LEAP-X next-generation engine program.

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2013

Boeing selects the GE9X as the sole engine for its 777X commercial planes.

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2018

The initial architecture of GE鈥檚 Affinity, the first commercial supersonic engine in 55 years, is introduced.

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1896

GE's Elihu Thomson builds electrical equipment for the production of X-rays.

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1913

GE researcher William Coolidge develops the hot-cathode, high-vacuum X-ray tube.

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1932

Associate Director of GE Research Laboratory Irving Langmuir wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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1959

The world鈥檚 first commercial size exclusion chromatography resin, Sephadex, launches.

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1974

The first non-ionic X-ray contrast media is introduced.

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1978

The first routine total-body computed tomography (CT) scanner is made widely available.

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1983

The first high-field 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is introduced.

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1999

The first commercial SPECT/CT combination designed as a single unit is introduced.

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2000

The first 4D high-res ultrasound system for women鈥檚 health enables visualization of fetal movement in utero.

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2011

The first single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging agent is released.

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2012

The world鈥檚 first modular biopharmaceutical facility, KUBio鈩, is opened.

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2015

The first NASA-style clinical hospital 鈥渃ommand center鈥 launches.

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2016

A mammography system featuring the world鈥檚 first patient-assisted compression remote control debuts.

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2017

Cell therapy enterprise offering launches with the acquisition of Asymptote Limited.

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2019

The first deep learning-based CT image reconstruction technology gains FDA clearance.

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2020
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