Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Born July 8 1838 – Died March 8 1917
Patent No. 621,195
Ferdinand von Zeppelin conceived and developed the first rigid dirigible, a lighter-than-air vehicle, known as the zeppelin.
Born in Milford, Connecticut, Sprague graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1878. After the Academy, he developed a number of significant inventions. The first was a constant-speed, non-sparking motor with fixed brushes, the first motor to maintain constant revolutions per minute under different loads. Sprague's company sold 250 motors in two years.