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James J. Wood

engineer , inventor

James J. Wood, Irish engineer, inventor. Fellow American Institute Elec. Engineers.


Wood, James J. was born on March 25, 1856 in Kinsale, Ireland. Son of Paul H. and Elizabeth (Shine) Wood.


Brought to the United States, 1864. Graduate Evening High School, Brooklyn, New York, 1876. Graduate as mechanic engineer and draftsman, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, 1878.


Began in employ of Branford (Connecticut) Lock Company at age of 11, and at 16 designed a horizontal steam engine. With Brady Manufacturing Company, Brooklyn, 1874-1880, becoming superintendent and chief engineer. Partner Fuller-Wood Company, 1880-1885.

With Thomson-Houston and General Electric companies as inventor and construction engineering, since 1885. Inventor of “Wood” system, and “father” of the closed coil, constant current, high tension, self-regulating series arc dynamo. Brayton oil engine, installed in first Holland submarine.

Built first lamps for Sir Hiram Maxim. Built machines for constructing main cables, original Brooklyn Bridge. Holder of 240 patents covering electrical and mechanic devices, including dynamo for flood lighting, first used on Statue of Liberty.


Fellow American Institute Elec. Engineers.


Married Nellie B. Scott, January 20, 1916. Children: Venie Elizabeth (Mistress.

Paul H. Wood

Elizabeth (Shine) Wood

Nellie B. Scott

Venie Elizabeth (Mrs Wood