Arthur Atwater Kent Sr.

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

Arthur Atwater Kent Sr. was born in Burlington, Vermont back in 1873.  The family moved to Worchester, Massachusetts in 1881.  He entered Worchester Polytechnic Institute majoring in mechanical engineering.  He excelled in mechanics and drawing, but he was weak in chemistry, algebra and language, having no interest in those subjects.

He started the Kent Electric Manufacturing Company where he sold electric motors and generators.  In 1921, he was producing radio components.  His business was so successful he built a plant that eventually covered 32 acres in North Philadelphia.  By 1925 it was the largest maker of radios in the United States, employing over 12,00 workers. He died in 1949 in Hollywood, California he was 75.

What you may not know about Arthur is that in 1921, he patented the modern for of the automobile ignition coil, it was the automobile industry standard for almost 50 years, until the advent of the HEI system.

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Comments (20)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 

    

Jan 25, 2021 03:26 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - when I saw Hollywood mentioned, I wondered if there might be another twist in Mr. Kent's life.  Thank you for the insight.  

Jan 25, 2021 04:17 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Must say Arthur was a model of the thinking man. Enjoy your day.

Jan 25, 2021 04:53 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

He sounds like a brilliant man and his invention was useful for many years.

Jan 25, 2021 04:57 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Another brilliant historical figure that most of us would never know about without your posts, James. Thank you.

Jan 25, 2021 05:12 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning James Dray - I know him well.  There is an Atwater Kent museum in Philadelphia.

Jan 25, 2021 05:21 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Fun stuff to know James Dray . I have had a couple of Kent radios over the years and I certainly have changed several coils over the years.

Jan 25, 2021 05:37 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

I may not have known of him but did many a tune-up over the years!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Jan 25, 2021 06:09 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray wonder where we would have ever been  if not for that man's inventions.

Jan 25, 2021 06:33 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

James,

I had no idea about. this.  I have turned on the car with a key, and now with a fob or pushing a button...LOL A

Jan 25, 2021 08:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Jan 25, 2021 08:57 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Wow James- I was not familiar with him and now thanks to Grant Schneider I see that there is an Atwater Kent Museum. 

Jan 25, 2021 09:42 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I am amazed out how many great people we made in this country...simply because of our capitalism. This is why socialism will never work.

Jan 25, 2021 11:04 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

We see the Atwater name used a lot around Philadelphia.

Jan 25, 2021 11:54 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

HAving grown up outside Philadelphia I acually knew this name.

Jan 25, 2021 01:41 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

That was quite the accomplishment for that patent. And to be used for 50 years that's astonishing James Dray 

Jan 25, 2021 10:16 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Go figure he died in Hollywood and no one knows about him, Endre

Jan 25, 2021 10:54 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear James,

Another tinkerer at work. Do they even teach shop & home ec anymore? We need more people like this now.

Feb 09, 2021 07:09 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

High energy ignition, also known as H.E.I., is an electronic ignition designed by the Delco Division of GMC, and introduced in 1974.It was used on all engines from 1975-mid-1980s. 

Feb 12, 2021 08:58 AM