In 1876 Thomas Edison opened a laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. From this he made a laboratory discovery that one of the most famous inventions ever: the electric lamp. By the time it was 1890, Edison had its different activities into their own holding company, the Edison General Electric Company.
Founded in 1879 two teachers from Philadelphia, Elihu Thomson and Edwin Houston, the competing Thomson-Houston Electric Company. The company merged over the years with different companies and was later led by Charles Coffin, a former shoemaker in Lynn (Massachusetts).
Through various mergers obtained both Thomson-Houston and Edison General Electric many inventions and patents owned, making the company a relatively strong and dominant position in the electronics industry were. It was very difficult for other companies to produce electronic devices that are not part of Thomson-Houston Company, or GE Edison contain. In 1892 led eventually to a merger between two companies and The General Electric Company was formed with a central headquarters in Schenectady (New York).
In 1896 General Electric was one of the original twelve companies that were part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. GE is the only company in the Dow Jones index has recorded that in 1896 was originally recorded in that index. In 1919, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was founded by General Electric and AT & T to guarantee international radio.
General Electric was one of the eight major computer companies (along with IBM, the largest, Burroughs, Scientific Data Systems, Control Data Corporation, Honeywell, RCA and UNIVAC) through the over 60s. In 1970, GE sold the computer division to Honeywell.
In 1986 General Electric bought the now independent again on RCA, primarily for the NBC television network. The rest of the company was sold to several companies, including Bertelsmann and Thomson.
In 2004 GE bought the television and movie network Vivendi SA for $ 13.7 billion (total purchase ended up costing $ 16.9 billion after the acquisition of the interest of IAC / Interactive Corp. in the network), becoming the third largest media conglomerate in the world. The new media division of General Electric was established around the newly formed NBC Universal. In the same year completed the divestiture of GE’s largest part of the insurance arm of Genworth Capital, which has its headquarters in Richmond (Virginia). GE also completed the acquisition of the credit card division of the Dillard’s department store group (Dillard National Bank) for $ 1.25 billion. In June 2005 purchased GE’s financial division, Bombardier Capital Inventory Finance, on the Canadian industrial group Bombardier for $ 2.3 billion.
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