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|Birth:||29th August, 1876|
|Death:||25th November, 1958|
|Profession:||Businessman, Electrical Engineer, Inventor|
Charles was born in Loudonville, Ohio, USA, the fourth of five children of Jacob Kettering and Martha Hunter Kettering. Poor eyesight hindered his progress as a student, but he initially attended The College of Wooster, then transferred to, and in 1904 earned an electrical engineering degree from The Ohio State University. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.
Kettering was a researcher, first for National Cash Register, and then for the U.S. automotive industry, founding the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company with Edward A. Deeds and Harold E. Talbott. Delco was eventually sold to General Motors, where it became the foundation for the General Motors Research Corporation and Delco Electronics. Kettering became vice president of General Motors Research Corporation in 1920 and held the position for 27 years. With Henry Leland, he developed a self-starter for the Cadillac which won a Dewar Trophy as a result in 1913.
Between 1918 and 1923, he led the research and development at GM's Dayton research laboratories to commercialize air-cooled engines for cars and trucks. They used fans forcing air across copper fins for heat dissipation. The commercialization, attempted between 1921 and 1923, was unsuccessful due to a combination of factors, nontechnical and technical. Air-cooled engines have had commercial success before and since, in various fields, but the historical moment of GM's "copper-cooled" automotive engine was inauspicious.
Kettering was later heavily involved in the research for new diesel engines, including two-stroke designs and lightweight designs. He was awarded the Franklin Medal in 1936.
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