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image of E.B. Craft Chief engineer of Western Electric inventor of E and R type relay

E.B. Craft


Edward Beech Craft was born in Cortland, Ohio, September 12, 1881. He joined Western Electric Company (AT&T) in 1903. Over time he became a key inventor. His most long-lasting contribution was the flat spring relay (especially E and R types), patented in 1915, US1156671A.


From a Bell Labs Record article [BLR], “Previous [relay] designs required numerous machining operations and careful fitting.  Relays based on his designs are now the largest apparatus item in Western Electric production, and they are an indispensable part of the telephone plant [in 1929].”


In 1922 he advanced to become the Chief Engineer of the Western Electric Company. Unfortunately, Mr. Craft died early at age 48, in 1929.


Dr. F. B. Jewett, President, Bell Telephone Laboratories, wrote this about him:


“His creative imagination was of an outstanding high order and tangible evidence of it is found wherever telephone plant exists. His indomitable determination, his indefatigable energy, and the resourcefulness he displayed in overcoming obstacles made many of his dreams turn into valuable practical realities, when most men would have given up discouraged.



BLR: A Biographical Note on E.B.Craft, Bell Laboratories Record, Sept, 1929.

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