Inventors and Patents From the City of Zeeland
The City of Zeeland is home to many important companies and industries. In the article, you’ll learn about GE’s electric motor division, the Van Raalte family’s investment in the watershed surrounding Black Lake, the Szekely Aircraft & Engine Company, and the Nelis family’s Tulip Farms.
GE’s electric motor division
In the 1590s, Cornelis Bloemaert was appointed city engineer of Amsterdam. While it is unknown how detailed his invention was, it is known that it was of great value to the city of Amsterdam. In recognition of his work, the city awarded him 600 guilders. His invention was referred to as the ‘nieuwe inventie van de nieuwe geleijde steenen brugge over den Amstel’.
Although the administrative bodies were different, there was a substantial difference between the two. The differences could not be explained by geography alone, but were due to other factors. The cities of Holland were flourishing at the time, and many of their inventions were for public works.
The city’s early settlers lived in log houses that were about eighteen by twenty feet in size. The floor was made of split logs. The interiors were completed with furniture. The first settlers to settle in Zeeland were Jan Wabeke and Martina Glerum. In 1848, M.J. Veneklasen organized a brick company in the city. While the brick-making industry had a limited scope in colonial times, it grew to become one of the largest in the state.
Inventors came from every class in society. A particularly active group of individuals were artisans who had mastered the building trades. They were all involved in the invention of new products and methods. Eventually, many of their inventions were patented, making their owners very rich.
Other notable Inventors From the City of Zeeland include AJ Hackett, who made bungy jumping popular. Alan Gibbs, meanwhile, developed a boat that could be used on both land and water. Another invention in Zeeland was the electric fence. In addition, Glenn Martin developed the Martin Jetpack. In addition to this, Ian Taylor, a native of Ngati Kahungunu and Nga Puhi, founded a computer animation company. Another notable individual was John Britten, who invented the Britten motorbike.
Van Raalte’s investment in Black Lake watershed
The Black Lake watershed is located between the Mullett Lake watershed and the Lake Huron watershed, roughly halfway between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River. The boundaries of the watershed follow shoreline contours, stretching eastward from the Bearinger-North Allis Township line to a point half-way between Rainy and Emma lakes. It is 21 miles in width.
In the 1870s, Van Raalte was pastor of the First Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. He was also the first president of the Classis of Holland, a regional body of Dutch immigrant churches. His main duty was to lead worship services and to care for his congregation. But as the settlement’s economy began to suffer, Van Raalte became increasingly involved in “worldly pursuits.”
Van Raalte purchased 320 acres of land in Ottawa County on 23 July 1836. He used his own money to pay real estate costs, surveying fees, legal fees, taxes, and other management costs. The land was worth $200,000, making Van Raalte rich. However, his investments were highly leveraged and were a strain at times.
Szekely Aircraft & Engine Company
Szekely Aircraft & Engine company is a well-known Dutch company which was founded by a Hungarian engineer. The company specialized in the manufacture of engines and airplanes. The company is located on West 12th Street. The Szekely factory is now a part of the Thermotron corporation. The company began in 1965 on a shoestring with a mortgage on a modest home. Its logo features a vignette of an American eagle and a logo of an airplane.
Nelis family Tulip Farms
The Nelis family Tulip Farms is a family business that has been in business for over a century. It is one of the oldest companies in the area. Originally, it was a confectionary store. Today, it is a farm and Dutch market. In addition, many of its businesses have been in business for several generations.
Prince’s die cast machine builder
In 1965, Ed Prince founded Prince Corp., which grew from 600 employees to over four thousand by 1995. Its revenues were more than $300 million, with two-thirds of its sales coming from automakers like Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler. Today, Prince is one of Holland’s largest employers.
The company now provides die casting equipment to a diverse group of industries worldwide. The company has a headquarters in Holland, Michigan, and services and rebuilds many types of die casting equipment. The company also has offices and warehouses in Brazil, China, and Germany.