Schuyler Skaats Wheeler (May 17, 1860 – April 20, 1923) was an American "electrical engineer and manufacturer who invented the "electric fan, the electric "elevator, and the "electric fire engine. He helped develop and implement a "code of ethics for electrical engineers.
Wheeler was born in "New York City on May 17, 1860. He was the son of James Edwin and Annie Wood (Skaats) Wheeler. His father, a lawyer in New York city, was the son of Aaron Reed Wheeler, a land speculator of "Waterloo, New York, who came originally from "Blackstone, Massachusetts. Wheeler's mother was the daughter of David Schuyler Skaats, the president of the First National Bank of "Waterloo, New York. Skaats was an eighth generation descendent of Dominie Gideon Skaats, who had settled in "Albany, New York, prior to 1650.
Wheeler was educated at "Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School. Leaving college in 1881, upon the death of his father, he became assistant electrician of the "Yablochkov Electric Lighting Company. Wheeler then joined the United States Electric Lighting Company in 1883 when Yablochkov went out of business with his electric company. He joined the engineering staff of "Thomas A. Edison and was part of the project when the "Pearl Street Station debuted the first "incandescent light bulbs. He acted as general manager of the underground distribution system at "Newburgh, New York. He was afterwards in charge to lay the Edison underground systems in other cities.
Wheeler worked for Herzog Teleseme Company as electrician for a short time between 1884 to 1885. Then in 1886 he was part of developing and organizing the C and C Electric Motor Company with Charles G. Curtis and Francis B. Crocker. They manufactured electric motors and founded the industry. Wheeler became their main technician and plant manager. Wheeler then left the firm as did Crocker in 1888. They organized the electrical engineering firms of Crocker-Wheeler Motor Company of New York state and the Crocker-Wheeler Company of the state of New Jersey. Wheeler was president of both the firms from 1889. During his tenure with Crocker-Wheeler, he was particularly important in development of the "electric motors and applying it to "machine tool drives. He was for seven years (1888–1895) the electrical expert consultant specialist of the Board of Electrical Control of New York.
In 1900, he purchased the library of "Josiah Latimer Clark, which contained the "largest collection of rare electrical works in existence." He presented the "Latimer Clark Library" to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and that became the foundation of their library housed in New York's "Engineering Societies' Building and Engineers' Club. As the IEEE noted, the gift insured "Doctor Wheeler a permanent place in the role of those who have given outstanding service" to the Institute. In his IEEE presidential address in 1906, he was the progenitor of the "Code of Ethics for "electrical engineers, which was adopted in 1912 by the Institute's Board of Directors.
Wheeler was married, in 1890, to Ella Adams, daughter of Richard N. Peterson of New York City. She died in 1895 and he married again in 1898 to Miss Amy Sutton, daughter of John Joseph Sutton of "Rye, New York.
Wheeler invented the electric fan in 1882 by placing a two-bladed propeller on the shaft of an electric motor. He was awarded the "John Scott Medal for this invention in 1904 by the "Franklin Institute.
He invented the electric fire engine. Wheeler's Patent for an Electric Fire-engine System was filed on May 23, 1882. It was issued on February 24, 1885 by the "United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Wheeler was a member of the "American Society of Civil Engineers; the "American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the "American Institute of Electrical Engineers (President, 1905–1906; Vice President for three years); the "University Club; the Lotus Club; the Lawyers' Club; and the Automobile Club.
Wheeler was one of nine incorporators of the "United Engineering Society formed in May 1904 and was one of three representatives of the "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was also a member of the "Efficiency Society with other millionaires.
Wheeler wrote several technical articles related to electricity in various journals. He wrote articles for "Harper's Weekly under the title, "The Cheap John in Electrical Engineering." In 1894 he joint authored a book titled "The Practical Management of Dynamos and Motors" with Professor Francis B. Crocker.
Wheeler was awarded the honorary degree of "Doctor of Science by "Hobart College (1894); and a "Master of Science by "Columbia College (1912). His papers are archived primarily with the "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). His library and collection gift to the IEEE provided a core for their library.
4332. The first electric fan was invented by Dr. Schuyler Skaats Wheeler, who in 1882 placed a fan or propeller on the shaft of an electric motor.