This Day in Aviation History
February 22nd, 1900
Birth of Paul Kollsman, inventor of the altimeter.

Paul was born in Germany and emigrated to the USA in 1923. He temporarily worked as a truck driver until he found employment with Pioneer Instruments Co.

In 1928, he founded his own company named Kollsman Instruments Co. to develop and promote his altimeter. He garnered the attention of Jimmy Doolittle and on September 24th, 1929, Jimmy made the first instrument flight using the altimeter developed by Paul Kollsman and gyroscopic compass and artificial horizon developed by Elmer Sperry. 

In 1940, Kollsman sold his company to Square D Company of Detroit for 4 million dollars. He became a consultant and vice president for the parent company, Square D. Throughout his lifetime he accrued many patents including one for a slip-resistant surface for bathtubs.

Paul Kollsman died on September 26th 1982.

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