Charles Proteus Steinmetz
|Charles Proteus Steinmetz|
|Born||Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz
April 9, 1865
Breslau, Province of Silesia, Prussia
|Died||October 26, 1923
Schenectady, NY, USA
|Occupation||Mathematician and electrical engineer|
|Parents||Carl Heinrich Steinmetz|
Charles Proteus Steinmetz (April 9, 1865 in Wrocław – October 26, 1923) was a mathematician and electrical engineer. He fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electric power industry in the United States, formulating mathematical theories for engineers. He made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment including especially electric motors for use in industry.[a]
Steinmetz was born as Carl August Rudolph Steinmetz into a Jewish family in Breslau, Province of Silesia. Steinmetz suffered from dwarfism, hunchback, and hip dysplasia, as did his father and grandfather. Steinmetz attended Johannes Gymnasium and astonished his teachers with his proficiency in mathematics and physics.
Following the Gymnasium Steinmetz went on to the University of Breslau to begin work on his undergraduate degree in 1883. He was on the verge of finishing his doctorate in 1888 when he came under investigation by the German police for activities on behalf of a socialist university group and articles he had written for a local socialist newspaper, then a popular ideological pursuit among secular German Jews.
As socialist meetings and press had been banned in Germany, Steinmetz fled to Zürich in 1888 to escape possible arrest. Faced with an expiring visa, he emigrated to the United States in 1889. He changed his first name to Charles in order to sound more American and chose the middle name Proteus after a childhood taunt given to him by classmates. Proteus was a wise hunchbacked character from the Odyssey who knew many secrets and he felt it suited him.
Cornell University Professor Ronald R. Kline, the author of Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist, contends that other factors were more directly involved in Steinmetz's decision to leave his homeland, such as the fact that he was in arrears with his tuition at the University of Breslau and that life at home with his father, stepmother, and their daughters was full of tension.
Despite his earlier efforts and interest in socialism, by 1922 Steinmetz concluded that socialism would never work in the U.S. because the country lacked a "powerful, centralized government of competent men, remaining continuously in office" and because "only a small percentage of Americans accept this viewpoint today." 
Engineering wizard 
AC hysteresis theory 
Shortly after arriving in the U.S., Steinmetz went to work for Rudolf Eickemeyer in Yonkers, New York, and published in the field of magnetic hysteresis, which gave him world-wide professional recognition. Eickemeyer's firm developed transformers for use in the transmission of electrical power among many other mechanical and electrical devices. In 1893 Eickemeyer's company, along with all of its patents and designs, was bought by the newly formed General Electric Company, where he quickly became known as the engineering wizard in GE's engineering community.
AC steady state circuit theory 
Steinmetz's work revolutionized AC circuit theory and analysis, which had been carried out using complex, time-consuming calculus-based methods. In 1893 he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts to work with GE`s computers in its Calculating Department, Steinmetz simplified these complicated methods to "a simple problem of algebra". He was the first to use complex number phasor representation, whereby the letter j is used to designate the 90 degree rotation operator in AC system analysis. His seminal books and many American Institute of Electrical Engineers papers "taught a whole generation of engineers how to deal with AC phenomena.
AC transient theory 
Steinmetz also made greater strides to the understanding of lightning phenomena. He undertook a systematic study of it, resulting in experiments of man-made lightning in the laboratory; this work was published. Steinmetz was called the "forger of thunderbolts," being the first to create artificial lightning in his GE football field-sized laboratory and high towers, using 120,000 volt generators. He erected a lightning tower to attract lightning and studied the patterns and effects of lightning resulting in several theories and ideas.
Professional and personal aspects 
Steinmetz served as president of the Board of Education of Schenectady, and as president of the Schenectady City Council. He was president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) from 1901 to 1902, as well as the first vice-president of the International Association of Municipal Electricians (IAME)—which later became the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA)—from 1913 until his death. Steinmetz wrote 13 books and 60 articles, not all about engineering. He was an honorary member and advisor to the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta at Union (whose chapter house there was one of the first electrified houses ever).
His connection to Union College is celebrated with the annual Steinmetz Symposium, a day-long event in which Union undergraduates give presentations on research they have done. Steinmetz Hall, which houses the Union College computer center, is named after him.
A Chicago Public High School is named for him.
A public park in north Schenectady, New York was named for him in 1931.
Based on Steinmetz experiments, Steinmetz' formula defines the approximate heat energy due to magnetic hysteresis released per cycle per unit area of magnetic material.[c] Steinmetz equivalent circuit theory is still widely used for the design and testing of induction motors.
At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents:
- U.S. Patent 533,244, "System of distribution by alternating current." January 29, 1895.
- U.S. Patent 559,419, "Inductor dynamo."
- U.S. Patent 583,950, "Three phase induction meter."
- U.S. Patent 594,145, "Inductor dynamo."
- U.S. Patent 714,412, "Induction motor."
- U.S. Patent 717,464, "System of electrical distribution."
- U.S. Patent 865,617, "Induction motor."
- U.S. Patent 1,025,932, "Means for producing light." May 7, 1912.
- U.S. Patent 1,042,986, "Induction furnace."
- U.S. Patent 1,230,615, "Protective device."
- U.S. Patent RE11,576, "Inductor dynamo."
In popular culture 
His name is used several times during certain episodes of The Simpsons by industrialist Mr. Burns as an expletive ("Come on, Steinmetz, while we're still young!") whenever he feels people are taking longer than he would like.
Novelist John Ball grew up in Steinmetz's house. His parents were graduate students paid by GE to live with and take care of the man Ball called "Uncle Steinie". Ball used to tell Steinmetz stories to the Southern California Mystery Writers Association meetings.
- Certificate of Merit of The Franklin Institute (1908).
- Elliott Cresson Medal (1913).
- Cedergren Medal (1914).
- On the Law of Hysteresis, AIEE Trans., IX:3-64, 1892; Proc. of the IEEE, 72(2):197-221, doi: 10.1109/PROC.1984.12842
- Theory of the General Alternating Current Transformer, AIEE Trans., XII:245-256, Jan. 1895
- Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena, with the assistance of Ernst J. Berg, 1897. Information from this book has been reprinted in many subsequent engineering texts.
- The Alternating Current Induction Motor. AIEE Trans., XIV (1): 183-217, 1897.
- The Natural Period of a Transmission Line and the Frequency of Lightning Discharge Therefrom, The Electrical World, p. 203-205, August 27, 1898.
- Speed Regulation of Prime Movers and Parallel Operation of Alternators, AIEE Trans., XVIII:741-744, Jan. 1901.
- Theoretical Elements of Electrical Engineering, McGraw, 1902.
- The Alternating-Current Railway Motor, AIEE Trans., XXIII:9-25, Jan. 1904.
- Lightning Phenomena in Electric Circuits, AIEE Trans., XXVI(1):401-423, Jan. 1907.
- Electrical Engineering Education, AIEE Trans., XXVII(1):79-85, Jan. 1908.
- Future of Electricity, Transcript of lecture to the New York Electrical Trade School, 1908.
- Primary Standard of Light, AIEE Trans., XXVII(2):1319-1324, Jun. 8, 1908.
- The General Equations of the Electric Circuit, AIEE, Trans., XXVII(2):1231-1305, Jun. 8, 1908.
- General Lectures on Electrical Engineering, edited by Joseph Le Roy Hayden, Robson & Adee, 1908.
- Prime Movers, AIEE Trans., XXVIII(1):63-84, Jan. 1909.
- The Value of the Classics in Engineering Education, AIEE, Trans. XXVIII(2):1103-1106, Jun. 9, 1909.
- Radiation, Light and Illumination : A Series of Engineering Lectures Delivered at Union College, ed. by Joseph Le Roy Hayden, McGraw, 1909
- Disruptive Strength with Transient Voltages, with Hayden, Joseph L. R. principal author, AIEE Trans., XXIX(2):1125-1158, May 10, 1910.
- Engineering Mathematics; A Series of Lectures Delivered at Union College, McGraw, 1911.
- Mechanical Forces in Magnetic Fields, AIEE Trans., XXX(1):367-385 , Jan. 1911.
- Elementary Lectures on Electric Discharges, Waves and Impulses, and Other Transients, McGraw, 1911.
- Theory and Calculation of Transient Electric Phenomena and Oscillations, McGraw, 1911.
- Some Problems of High-Voltage Transmissions, AIEE Trans., XXXI(1):167-173, Jan. 1912.
- Instability of Electric Circuits, AIEE Trans., XXXII(2):2005-2021, May 13, 1913.
- Recording Devices, AIEE Trans., XXXIII(1):283-292, Jan. 1914.
- Outline of Theory of Impulse Currents, AIEE Trans., XXXV(1):1-31, Jan. 1916.
- America and the New Epoch, Harper, c. 1916.
- Theory and Calculation of Electric Apparatus, McGraw, 1917.
- America's Energy Supply, AIEE Trans., XXXVII(2):985-1014,Jul. 18, 1918.
- The Oxide Film Lightning Arrester, AIEE Trans., XXXVII(2):871-880, Jul. 18, 1918.
- The General Equations of the Electric Circuit-III, AIEE Trans., XXXVIII(1):191-260, Jan. 1919.
- Power Control and Stability of Electric Generating Stations, AIEE Trans., XXXIX(2):1215-1287, Jul. 20, 1920.
- Condenser Discharges Through a General Gas Circuit, AIEE Trans., XLI:63-76, Jan. 1922.
- Essay on Science and Religion at Project Gutenberg. Homer Heath Nugent, 1922.
- High-Voltage Insulation, with Hayden, J. L. R. principal author, AIEE Trans., XLII:1029-1042, Jan. 1923.
- Frequency Conversion by Third Class Conductor and Mechanism of the Arcing Ground and Other Cumulative Surges, AIEE Trans., XLII:470-477, Jan. 1923.
- Four Lectures on Relativity and Space, McGraw, 1923.
- Cable Charge and Discharge, AIEE Trans., XLII:577-592, Jan. 1923 .
- Overdamped Condenser Oscillations, AIEE Trans., XLIII:126-130, Jan. 1924.
- Quoting from Alger, "Steinmetz was truly the patron saint of the GE motor business."
- Quoting from Hammond, "This has placed him before the public as an atheist.* The title he did not deny. The writer, however, would put him down as a confirmed agnostic, for an atheist is a person who knows there is no God, and Steinmetz was not of that..."
- , where η is hysteresis coefficient, βmax is maximum flux density and k is an empirical exponent.
- "Charles Proteus Steinmetz". Invent Now, Inc. Hall of Fame profile. Unknown parameter
- Alger, P.L.; Arnold, R.E. (1976). "The History of Induction Motors in America". Proceedings of the IEEE 64 (9): 1380–1383. doi:10.1109/PROC.1976.10329.
- Clemens, Nora; Greenberger, Robert. Discovering the Nature of Energy (1st ed.). New York: Rosen Publishing Group. p. 78. ISBN 978-1448847020.
- Steinmetz talks on radio about human potential http://nyheritage.nnyln.net/cdm/singleitem/collection/schmuse/id/269
- "Charles Steinmetz: Union's Electrical Wizard". Union College Magazine. November 1, 1998. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
- "The Magnetic Force of Charles Proteus Steinmetz". IEEE Power Engineering Review 16 (9): 7. Feb. 1996. doi:10.1109/MPER.1996.535476. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
- Photo of GE calculation dept 1893 http://nyheritage.nnyln.net/cdm/singleitem/collection/schmuse/id/229/rec/143
- "Steinmetz, Putting it in Perspective - R, L, and C Elements and the Impedance Concept". Zabreb School of Engineering. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Charles Proteus Steinmetz". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- Hammond, John Winthrop (1924). Charles Proteus Steinmetz: A biography. The Century & Co. p. 447.
- "Union College Steinmetz Symposium".
- Steinmetz Park Association (2006). "Steinmetz Park Master Plan". Schenectady, N.Y. p. 3. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
- Knowlton, A. E. (1949). Standard Electrical of Electrical Engineers. McGraw-Hill. pp. 49 (§2.67), 323 (§4.280).
- Knowlton, p. 711 (§7.207).
- "C. P. Steinmetz". Becklaser.
- The 42nd Parallel, p. 335.
- Smith, Dinitia (May 13, 2006). "Starling Lawrence Writes a Novel About the Early Days of G.E". The New York Times.
- Whitehead, John B., Jr. (1901). "Review: Alternating Current Phenomena, by C. P. Steinmetz". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (3rd ed.) 7 (9): 399–408.
Further reading 
- Charles P. Steinmetz, Electrician, by Arthur Goodrich, The World's Work: A History of Our Time, VIII:4867–4869, June 1904
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz: A Biography, by John Winthrop Hammond, The Century & Co., 1924.
- Steinmetz and His Discoverer, by John Thomas Broderick, Robson & Adee, 1924.
- Loki; The Life of Charles Proteus Steinmetz, by Jonathan Norton Leonard, Doubleday, 1929.
- Steinmetz, Maker of Lightning, by Sigmund A Lavine, Dodd, Mead, 1955.
- The Little Giant of Schenectady, by Dorothy Markey, Aladdin Books, 1956.
- Modern Jupiter: The Story of Charles Proteus Steinmetz, by John Anderson Miller & Charles Proteus Steinmetz, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1958.
- The Electrical Genius of Liberty Hall: Charles Proteus Steinmetz, aka The Man Who Tamed Lightning, by Floyd Miller, McGraw-Hill, 1962
- Steinmetz the Philosopher, Compilation of Steinmetz's work by Ernest Caldecott & Philip Langdon Alger (eds.), 1965.
- Charles Steinmetz: Scientist and Socialist (1865–1923), Including the Complete Steinmetz-Lenin Correspondence, by Sender Garlin, American Institute for Marxist Studies, 1977 (reprinted in Sender Garlin's 1991 Three Radicals).
- Recollections of Steinmetz - A Visit to the Workshops of Dr. Charles Proteus Steinmetz, by Emil J. Remscheid & Virginia Remscheid Charves, General Electric Company, Research and Development, 1977.
- Steinmetz in Schenectady - A Picture History of Three Memorable Decades, by Larry Hart, Old Dorp Books, 1978.
- Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist, by Ronald R. Kline, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Charles Proteus Steinmetz|
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Encyclopedia Britannica entry
- Charles Steinmetz: Union's Electrical Wizard, Union College Magazine, November 1, 1998.
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady, Smithsonian Institution
- Charles Proteus Steinmetz: Accomplishments and Life, Edison Tech Center, Hall of Fame
- U.S. Supreme Court, "Steinmetz v. Allen, 192 U.S. 543 (1904)". Steinmetz v. Allen, Commissioner of Patents. No. 383. Argued January 12, 13, 1904. Decided February 23, 1904.
- Union College Steinmetz Symposium