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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Edison and Steinmetz

Two founding fathers of electricity

 
 
Edison and Steinmetz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
1. Edison and Steinmetz Marker
Inscription.  Thomas Edison was a brilliant inventor and entrepreneur. Charles Steinmetz was a mathematical genius in the field of electrical engineering. Both epitomized the American dream for success. Edison was profoundly hearing-impaired and Steinmetz suffered from dwarfism and scoliosis, yet both became towering figures whose many accomplishments helped establish General Electric as the dominant electrical company in the world and Schenectady as a leader in the miraculous new age of electricity.

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, 1865-1923
A genius born in German Prussia (now Wroclaw, Poland), Steinmetz immigrated to America and became famous for explaining alternating current electricity mathematically. He was also co-founder of the GE Research Lab (today called GE Global Research). He was an inventor with over 200 patents and also a distinguished professor at Union College. Steinmetz loved children and developed an interest in improving education. While on Schenectady School Board, he was instrumental in building three new Schenectady schools, and expanding three others. He instituted special classes for the learning disabled. Just over four
Steinmetz Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
2. Steinmetz Plaque
feet tall, Steinmetz suffered from multiple physical disabilities. Despite that, he had boundless energy and was a mental giant who accomplished much for GE and for Schenectady.

Some Accomplishments of Charles Proteus Steinmetz:
• Law of hysteresis • Formula for alternating current • Theory of electrical transients • Co-founder of General Electric Research Lab • Founder of electrical engineering Department at Union College • Professor of Electrical Engineering and Electro-physics at Union College • Co-developer of first three phase electrical system • Helped develop the world’s first monocyclic power distribution system • With Union College produced the first scheduled radio broadcast for public entertainment in the U.S. on October 14, 1920 • President of the Board of Education of Schenectady and school innovator • President of the Schenectady City Council • Member of Schenectady Parks Commission • President of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (now IEEE) • First vice-president of the International Association of Municipal Electricians (now IMSA) • Author of 13 books and 60 articles

Thomas Alva Edison, 1842-1931
Thomas Alva Edison was America’s most prolific inventor with 1093 patents, a record surpassed only in 2003. He is credited with the first practical incandescent light bulb, movies, phonograph recording, and
Edison Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
3. Edison Plaque
many more inventions. Edison was also a gifted businessman with a never-give-up attitude. He founded 14 companies including General Electric. He believed that the invention process was enhanced by collaboration with a team, he is credited as the inventor of the modern research laboratory. His early education suffered because of his constant distraction by invention ideas, and he was handicapped by hearing loss, starting at an early age.•

Some Accomplishments of Thomas Alva Edison:
• Commercially successful incandescent lamp • Commercial scale electric power • Movie camera • Phonograph • Fluoroscope • Alkaline storage batteries • Electrical generators • Electric locomotive engine • Microphone • Pushbutton voting machine • Automated high-speed telegraph receiver • Improved stock price ticker • Improved Portland cement

Some Accomplishments of General Electric: • First large steam turbine-generator installation • First gas turbine-generator installation • Medical X-rays • Low-cost hermetically sealed refrigeration • Vacuum tubes • First practical ductile tungsten lightbulb • Calrod heating units for electric stoves • Magnetron vacuum tube • Electrical loudspeakers • Television • First television station • Lexan plastic • Cloud seeding • Missile guidance technology • Noryl (high temperature plastic) • Industrial lasers • Man-made
About General Electric image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
4. About General Electric
diamonds • Pioneer in electric car technology • Trans-oceanic radio system • Portable X-ray machine • Turbo supercharger for piston-engine aircraft • First television for home • First U.S. jet engine • First auto-pilot system • Solid-state laser • Key technologies in the first moon landing • Computed tomography (CT) scanner • Sigma magnetic resonance imaging system (MRI)
 
Erected 2015 by the Citizens of Schenectady.
 
Location. 42° 48.784′ N, 73° 56.82′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is at the intersection of Erie Boulevard and South Ferry Street, on the right when traveling south on Erie Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Mill (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); General Electric Building 32 (about 800 feet away); South Gate of Stockade (about 800 feet away); The King’s Highway (about 800 feet away); South Shore Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); Southwest Corner of Stockade (approx. 0.2 miles away); M-7 Day (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clench's Tavern (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
 
More about this marker. Marker has six panels with two panels each about Thomas Edison and Charles Steinmetz. One panel is a tribute to both from Schenectady and the last is about General Electric
 
Also see . . .
1. Steinmetz's First Home in Schenectady.
Steinmetz’s Accomplishments image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
5. Steinmetz’s Accomplishments
(Submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. Thomas Edison. (Submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
3. Thomas Edison Biography. (Submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
4. Pictorial history of General Electric. (Submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
5. Brief History of GE. (Submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
 
Categories. EducationIndustry & CommerceScience & Medicine
 
Edison's Accomplishments image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
6. Edison's Accomplishments
Edison and Steinmetz Marker at Night image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 22, 2019
7. Edison and Steinmetz Marker at Night
Edison and Steinmetz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
8. Edison and Steinmetz Marker
Edison and Steinmetz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
9. Edison and Steinmetz Marker
Former Site of GE Research Laboratory image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, March 6, 2019
10. Former Site of GE Research Laboratory
Looking down Erie at GE Power. Building with Large GE monogram was the former research laboratory before it was moved to Niskayuna.
 

More. Search the internet for Edison and Steinmetz.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 6, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 71 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 6, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   6. submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   7. submitted on March 22, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   8. submitted on March 6, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.   9, 10. submitted on March 7, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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