Bailey, E. G. (Ervin George), 1880-1974

Alternative names
Birth 1880-12-25
Death 1974-12-18
French, English, German

Biographical notes:

Ervin George Bailey was an industrialist and manufacturer. He founded the Bailey Meter Company, a major manufacturer of industrial meters and controls, in 1916. The company was moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Cleveland, Ohio in 1919. In 1926, Bailey Meter Company was purchased by The Babcock and Wilcox Company, although it continued production under its own name. Ervin Bailey remained with Babcock and Wilcox, serving as president of the Fuller LeHigh Company division 1926-1936, as chairman of Bailey Meter Company 1944-1956, and as a vice president of Babcock and Wilcox 1931-1951. Bailey was awarded 141 United States patents for his inventions in the fields of fluid and combustion control. He was a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers; the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers; and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, England. He was also the author of many articles on metering, controls, fuels and combustion, and engineering education.

From the description of Ervin George Bailey papers, 1918-1974. (Rhinelander District Library). WorldCat record id: 42284284

Combustion engineer.

Ervin George Bailey was born in Damascus, Ohio on December 25, 1880. He was mechanically precocious as a child and invented a number of mechanisms while working in his father's sawmill and farm. He studied mechanical engineering at Ohio State under E. A Hitchcock and was a classmate and friend of Charles F. Kettering, later of General Motors. After five years in the test dept. of the Consolidation Coal Company, Bailey was recruited by Arthur D. Little of Boston to establish a coal department in 1907. Two years later he established the Fuel Testing Company with two college friends.

In 1915 Bailey invented the Bailey boiler meter, the first device to accurately measure boiler inputs and steam output. The Bailey Meter Company was organized in Boston on January 1, 1916, and moved to Cleveland three years later. In 1922 Bailey produced the Bailey automated control system which regulated the air and fuel supply to boilers. The Bailey meters were part of the culmination of traditional steam technology, achieving maximum efficiency from coal-fired boilers.

Bailey sold the controlling interest in the company to the Babcock & Wilcox Company in 1925. He became president of another B&W subsidiary, the Fuller-Lehigh Company, a manufacturer of coal-pulverizing equipment, and moved to Easton, Pa. He also served as a B&W vice president from 1931 to 1951 and became B&W's largest individual stockholder. In 1927, B&W sold a one-third interest in the Bailey Meter Company to General Electric in return for GE's flow-meter business. GE sold its shares back to B&W in the early 1950s. However, the purchase gave Bailey Meter access to GE's expertise and enabled it to expand into the field of electrical and electronic process controls and cultivate the chemical and nuclear industries as traditional steam technology became obsolete. B&W was absorbed by McDermott International in 1975, and the Bailey Meter Company was renamed the Bailey Controls Company. On Nov. 1, 1989, Bailey was sold to Elsag, a subsidiary of an Itallian conglomerate.

E. G. Bailey retired as chairman of the Bailey Meter Company in 1956. He continued active in consulting work and engineering education until shortly before his death at Easton on December 18, 1974. Bailey held 141 patents and was the recipient of many engineering honors, including the Fritz Medal (1952).

From the description of Papers, 1908-1991. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 78294634


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  • Patents
  • Coal--Research
  • Engineering--Societies
  • Industry
  • College students--Employment
  • Nuclear energy
  • Industry and education
  • Patent suits
  • Steam-engineering
  • Furnaces--Efficiency
  • Engineering--Management
  • Automatic control
  • Storms
  • Coal combustion
  • Patent lawyers
  • Engineering--Awards
  • Inventors
  • Magnetohydrodynamics
  • Natural gas--Explosions
  • Combustion engineering
  • Steam--Fuel consumption
  • Heat pumps
  • Coal ash
  • Superheaters
  • Boilers--Fuel
  • Coal
  • Engineers
  • Steamotive (Locomotive)
  • Temperature control
  • Boilers--Efficiency
  • Steam-boilers
  • Engineering--Vocational guidance
  • Electrical power plant equipment industry
  • Steam--Dynamics
  • Steam-turbine locomotives
  • Industrial equipment industry
  • Boilers
  • Steam-meters
  • Furnaces--Grates
  • Coal, Pulverized
  • Steam--Efficiency
  • Feedback control systems
  • Boiler making industry
  • Industries--Energy consumption
  • Bituminous coal
  • Fuel--Testing
  • Businessmen
  • Coal--Testing
  • Trade catalog
  • Gas-turbine locomotives
  • Fly ash
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Coal-fired power plants
  • Engineering students
  • Employees' magazines, newsletters, etc
  • Coal-fired furnaces
  • Steam locomotives--Fireboxes
  • Coal gasification, Underground
  • Coke
  • Engineering--Research
  • Furnaces--Fuel consumption
  • Inventions, Employees'
  • Engineering instruments
  • Engineering--Study and teaching
  • Patent licenses
  • Cyclone furnaces
  • Combustion--Research
  • Pollution control equipment
  • Engineering drawings
  • Coal--Analysis


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  • Ohio--Cleveland (as recorded)
  • Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.) (as recorded)