Who was George W. Hamilton?

George Willis Hamilton (1842-1923), who may have occasionally gone by his middle name, was the superintendent of the fire alarm system for the Hartford Fire Department for 35 years, until his retirement in 1918. According to his obituary in the Hartford Courant, Hamilton led an effort to upgrade the fire alarm system, primarily by switching the system to storage batteries. This innovation, which was one of the earliest (and maybe even the first) uses of storage batteries in fire alarm systems, made Hartford a national leader in fire alarm systems, and other fire departments and fire alarm manufacturers soon followed Hartford's lead. By the time of his death in 1923, storage batteries were in wide use throughout the country.