The rise and fall of GE: How industrial titan grew from Thomas Edison's lab

Mail Online | 12/31/1969 | Keith Griffith For
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America's industrial titan General Electric suffered yet another blow on Thursday, after fraud investigator Harry Markopolos, who blew the whistle on Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, said the company was concealing deep financial problems.

The report, which knocked $10 billion off of the company's market cap in a matter of hours, is just the latest incident to befall the once great company, which has shrunk significantly from its peak two decades ago.

Company - Story - April - Inventor - Thomas

The company's story dates back to April 24, 1889, when famed inventor Thomas Edison consolidated his various business holdings into Edison General Electric Company, which was incorporated in New York and became the precursor to GE.

Edison's key inventions based on electricity, including the light bulb, spawned a fast-growing business that made electric motors, light fixtures and lamps.

General - Electric - Companies - Dow - Jones

In 1896, General Electric became one of the original 12 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, where it would remain off and on for the next 122 years, until its removal from the index last year.

Over the course of the 20th century, GE became a manufacturing powerhouse of everything from household appliances to military armaments.

Company - Jet - Engine - Urging - US

In 1942, the company developed the first American jet engine at the urging of the U.S. military, and became a major arms supplier during WWII.

Meanwhile, GE's...
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