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By Frederick Dalzell

The technological breakthroughs and entrepreneurial adventures of Frank J. Sprague throughout the transformative years of the early electric undefined.

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Most remained unbuilt and undeveloped. Sprague at this stage was creating abstractions, not artifacts; technical ideas, not technologies. ” He was already inventing but only beginning to confront the more complicated, multifaceted dimensions of constructing or engineering technology. Over the next few years, bursting with ideas, Sprague searched for ways to launch a career and develop his designs into artifacts. The range and pace of his efforts at invention in the years immediately following Annapolis indicated a strong theoretical grasp of the basic science and a busy technical imagination.

TO ANNAPOLIS Sprague, meanwhile, had his own pathway out of North Adams to excavate. After finishing his primary education in the local public schools, he entered Drury Academy, a local private preparatory school where he received his first formal introduction to the sciences. Intelligent and hard-working, he excelled in mathematics and attracted the attention of several local patrons. S. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, from the district of Congressman Thomas Dawes. Undaunted (and in any event in no position to pick and choose his opportunities), Sprague sat for the examination.

The electrical revolution was a distinctly transatlantic phenomenon that benefited from cross-pollination. These inventors came from a wide range of educational backgrounds. S. Naval Academy allowed him to enter the field with more formal training and a stronger theoretical grasp of electricity than many. Tesla worked his way through electrical engineering courses at the Austrian Polytechnic in Graz and at the University of Prague. William Stanley attended Williston Academy in Massachusetts, followed (briefly) by a period at Yale University.

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