Charles Proteus Steinmetz

04 Oct 2017

Born Carl August Rudolph Steinmetz in what was then Breslau on April 9, 1865, Charles Proteus Steinmetz was a 1.22m hunchback genius inventor who at the time of his death in the United States after an astonishing and extremely colourful life on October 26, 1923 held over 200 patents. A radical socialist, Steinmetz received his Ph.D. in 1888 and was shortly after forced to flee the country for writing a paper strongly criticising the German government of the time. In 1889 Steinmetz emigrated to the US where he soon found a job working for the General Electric company in Schenectady, New York, having been head-hunted by none other than Thomas Edison himself.

A long fascination with alternating current led to him patenting a system for distributing AC power (the very life blood of our modern-day existence), a system he wholeheartedly believed would bring about a social revolution worldwide. Dedicating his time to his work and social causes, including a period as reforming president of Schenectady’s Board of Education and a member of the city’s council, though he never married, Steinmetz developed a father-son relationship with his young lab assistant, Joseph Le Roy Hayden, who later moved in with Steinmetz, along with his wife.

A keen lover of the great outdoors, our hero built his own campsite and was often seen being rowed up and down the Mohawk River doing mathematical calculations in a tiny canoe he’d had specially adapted into an office (an extract from his diary of the time reads, ‘It was a hot sunny day with almost no wind, and I sat in the sun and calculated instances of condenser discharge through an asymmetrical gas circuit.’).


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Over a year ago
Val Bell
So glad that I have information about Breslau.Recently through my cousin found out that we were of Prussian ancestory. They braved the ne the oceans and came to the U.S. 1866. So, I am finding out a lot about the country. They came from Ober Niedergiersdorf -admimistrative district of Breslau. According to the info that my cousin had Breslau, today is Milochow. Also, all recorded were lost in WWII
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