Coffin, Charles A.

Coffin, Charles A. (Albert)

(1844–1926) manufacturer; born in Somerset County, Maine. A shoe manufacturer in Lynn, Mass. he helped form the Lynn Syndicate (1883) to purchase the American Electric Company in Connecticut; the company was moved to Lynn as the Thomas-Houston Company. In 1892 it merged with the Edison Electric Company (N.Y.) and Coffin was elected president of the new firm, called General Electric Company (1892–1913). From 1913 to 1922 he chaired the board. Under his leadership the company grew to a million-dollar-a-day business. During World War I he created the War Relief Clearing House, later consolidated with the Red Cross. The Charles A. Coffin Foundation awards research fellowships to college graduates.