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Electricity History: Steinmetz’s Birthday

April 6, 2018

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, a mathematician and electrical engineer who served as General Electric’s chief consulting engineer, did ground-breaking work on alternating current that contributed to the development of the electric system.

He led the creation of the GE Research Laboratory in Schenectady, which first operated in his carriage barn.

Born in 1865 in Breslau, Germany (now Wroclaw, Poland), Steinmetz emigrated to the U.S. in 1888. In 1892, General Electric bought the company that had hired Steinmetz, who moved to GE’s Schenectady headquarters in 1894.

 “Using complex mathematical equations, Steinmetz developed ways to analyze values in alternating current circuits. His discoveries changed the way engineers thought about circuits and machines and made him the most recognized name in electricity for decades.”

– Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady, Smithsonian.com, August 16, 2011

To learn more about the modern power system, check out our 2018 Power Trends report.

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