William Robinson

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

William Robinson was born in Ireland back in 1840. I don’t know when he moved to the United States but he grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He received his B.A. in 1865, his M.A. in 1868 and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering from Boston University in 1907.

In 1867, during his spare time he began developing a system that is still in use to this day. it took him three years before installing it in 1870. He started his own company in 1873, more on that in a moment. That company was bought out in 1881. He held several patents, the first coaster brake used on bicycles, roller bearing skates and a repeating telephone. He died in 1921 at 80 in Brooklyn, New York.

What you may not know about William is that he invented the first track circuit used in railway signaling, that system consisted of a series of signals that divide a railway line into a series of blocks. It controlled the movement of trains using automatic signals designed to allow trains to operate in the same direction in a safe manner without the risk of rear-end collisions. He also invented the electrical controlled fluid pressure signal system, an automatic elector-pneumatic signal system and the closed track circuit system.

Until tomorrow I bid you a happy day filled with laughter and smiles.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray another series of inventions that are life saving to all of us today.... and those train signals always kick in just as I'm approaching a set of tracks...

Jun 14, 2018 03:35 AM #1
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Great information about a very accomplished gentleman, James.  We owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Jun 14, 2018 04:40 AM #2
faye schubert
Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Oh these great inventors that could THINK instead of staring into a cell phone at every spare minute. Will the cell phone be the cause of less inventions in the world???

Jun 14, 2018 04:55 AM #3
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Once again a tremendous contribution we take for granted. Thanks for calling it to my attention. Enjoy your day!

Jun 14, 2018 05:42 AM #4
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning again James. This is a really good read, a very hardworking and accomplished guy.

Jun 14, 2018 07:26 AM #5
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

Sounds like he knew what he was doing and I'll stick to my car sensors!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jun 14, 2018 07:29 AM #6
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Quite the inventor he was and certainly important, as train wrecks are not a good thing.

Jun 14, 2018 07:59 AM #7
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We have a train in Santa Barbara that runs partly along the coast.  Ron was looking at the track circuit the other day when we crossed the tracks to get to view the seal rookery.  Now I learned something new thanks to you. A

Jun 14, 2018 08:03 AM #8
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James - James Robinson is another great inventor who improved our safety.

Jun 14, 2018 09:10 AM #9
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - With all that education I knew he was going to have some big things for us to read about! You did not disappoint.

Jun 14, 2018 12:04 PM #10
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- everything he invented was way over my head but thank goodness for his inventions. 

Jun 14, 2018 03:26 PM #11
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Now that is one smart engineer, James! I knew something 'big' was coming in the end and you certainly provide another ah-ha moment in history!

Jun 14, 2018 07:50 PM #12
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

James, William really knew his way around an invention table and it seems that he loved the work on the railway...

Jun 14, 2018 10:47 PM #13
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