Charles Proteus Steinmetz

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Charles Proteus Steinmetz
Charlesproteussteinmetz.jpg
Born
Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz

(1865-04-09)April 9, 1865
DiedOctober 26, 1923(1923-10-26) (aged 58)
Schenectady, New York, United States
Resting place Vale Cemetery
Occupation Mathematician and electrical engineer
Known for
Parent(s)
  • Karl Heinrich Steinmetz
  • Caroline Neubert
Awards Elliott Cresson Medal (1913)

Charles Proteus Steinmetz (born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz, April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer and professor at Union College. 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. [1] [2] [lower-alpha 1]

Mathematician person with an extensive knowledge of mathematics

A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics in his or her work, typically to solve mathematical problems.

Electrical engineering Field of engineering that deals with electricity

Electrical engineering is a technical discipline concerned with the study, design and application of equipment, devices and systems which use electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. It emerged as an identified activity in the latter half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, and electrical power generation, distribution and use.

Union College college located in Schenectady, New York, United States

Union College is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college located in Schenectady, New York. Founded in 1795, it was the first institution of higher learning chartered by the New York State Board of Regents. In the 19th century, it became the "Mother of Fraternities", as three of the earliest such organizations were established there. After 175 years as a traditional all-male institution, Union College began enrolling women in 1970.

Contents

At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents. [3] A genius in both mathematics and electronics, he did work that earned him the nicknames "Forger of Thunderbolts" [4] and "The Wizard of Schenectady". [5] Steinmetz's equation, Steinmetz solids, Steinmetz curves, and Steinmetz equivalent circuit theory are all named after him, as are numerous honors and scholarships, including the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award , one of the highest technical recognitions given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers professional society.

Steinmetz's equation, sometimes called the power equation, is an empirical equation used to calculate the total power loss per unit volume in magnetic materials when subjected to external sinusoidally varying magnetic flux. The equation is named after Charles Steinmetz, a German-American electrical engineer, who proposed a similar equation without the frequency dependency in 1890. The equation is:

Steinmetz solid

A Steinmetz solid is the solid body obtained as the intersection of two or three cylinders of equal radius at right angles. It is named after mathematician Charles Proteus Steinmetz, who solved the geometric problem of determining the volume of the intersection, though these solids were known long before Steinmetz studied them.

Steinmetz curve

A Steinmetz curve is the curve of intersection of two right circular cylinders of radii and whose axes intersect perpendicularly. In case of the Steimetz curves are the edges of a Steinmetz solid. If the cylinder axes are the x- and y-axes and , then the Steinmetz curves are given by the parametric equations:

Early life

Steinmetz maintained a small cabin overlooking the Mohawk River near Schenectady, New York. Steinmetz Cabin.jpg
Steinmetz maintained a small cabin overlooking the Mohawk River near Schenectady, New York.

Steinmetz was born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz on April 9, 1865 in Breslau, Province of Silesia, Prussia (now Wrocław, Poland) the son of Caroline (Neubert) and Karl Heinrich Steinmetz. [6] [7] He was baptized a Lutheran into the Evangelical Church of Prussia. [8] [9] Steinmetz, who only stood four feet tall as an adult, [5] suffered from dwarfism, [7] hunchback, [7] and hip dysplasia, as did his father and grandfather. Steinmetz attended Johannes Gymnasium and astonished his teachers with his proficiency in mathematics and physics.

Wrocław City in Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe, roughly 350 kilometres (220 mi) from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudeten Mountains to the south. The population of Wrocław in 2018 was 640,648, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of the Wrocław agglomeration.

Province of Silesia province

The Province of Silesia was a province of Prussia from 1815 to 1919. The Silesia region was part of the Prussian realm since 1740 and established as an official province in 1815, then became part of the German Empire in 1871. In 1919, as part of the Free State of Prussia within Weimar Germany, Silesia was divided into the provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia. Silesia was reunified briefly from 1938 to 1941 as a province of Nazi Germany before being divided back into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital first in Königsberg and then, in 1701, in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

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.

University of Wrocław Polish university

The University of Wrocław is a public research university located in Wrocław, Poland. The University of Wrocław was founded in 1945, replacing the previous German University of Breslau. Following the territorial changes of Poland's borders, academics primarily from the Jan Kazimierz University of Lwów restored the university building heavily damaged and split as a result of the Battle of Breslau (1945). Nowadays it is one of the most prominent educational institutions in the region.

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.

Socialism and technocracy

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", a wise hunchbacked character from the Odyssey who knew many secrets, after a childhood epithet given by classmates Steinmetz felt suited him. [10]

Zürich Place in Switzerland

Zürich or Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zürich. It is located in north-central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zürich. The municipality has approximately 409,000 inhabitants, the urban agglomeration 1.315 million and the Zürich metropolitan area 1.83 million. Zürich is a hub for railways, roads, and air traffic. Both Zurich Airport and railway station are the largest and busiest in the country.

Proteus Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Proteus is an early prophetic sea-god or god of rivers and oceanic bodies of water, one of several deities whom Homer calls the "Old Man of the Sea" (halios gerôn). Some who ascribe to him a specific domain call him the god of "elusive sea change", which suggests the constantly changing nature of the sea or the liquid quality of water in general. He can foretell the future, but, in a mytheme familiar to several cultures, will change his shape to avoid having to; he will answer only to someone who is capable of capturing the beast. From this feature of Proteus comes the adjective protean, with the general meaning of "versatile", "mutable", "capable of assuming many forms". "Protean" has positive connotations of flexibility, versatility and adaptability.

<i>Odyssey</i> Epic poem attributed to Homer

The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other Homeric epic. The Odyssey is fundamental to the modern Western canon; it is the second-oldest extant work of Western literature, while the Iliad is the oldest. Scholars believe the Odyssey was composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia.

Cornell University Professor Ronald R. Kline, the author of Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist, [11] contended that other factors were more directly involved in Steinmetz's decision to leave his homeland, such as being in arrears with his tuition at the University and life at home with his father, stepmother, and their daughters being tension-filled.[ citation needed ]

Cornell University Private Ivy League research university in Upstate New York

Cornell University is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York. Founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White, the university was intended to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge—from the classics to the sciences, and from the theoretical to the applied. These ideals, unconventional for the time, are captured in Cornell's founding principle, a popular 1868 Ezra Cornell quotation: "I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study."

Despite his earlier efforts and interest in socialism, by 1922 Steinmetz concluded that socialism would never work in the United States, 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". [12]

A member of the original Technical Alliance, which also included Thorstein Veblen and Leland Olds, Steinmetz had great faith in the ability of machines to eliminate human toil and create abundance for all. He put it this way: "Some day we make the good things of life for everybody". [13]

Engineering wizard

Steinmetz circa 1915 Charles Proteus Steinmetz.jpg
Steinmetz circa 1915

Steinmetz is known for his contribution in three major fields of alternating current (AC) systems theory: hysteresis, steady-state analysis, and transients. [14]

AC hysteresis theory

Shortly after arriving in the United States, Steinmetz went to work for Rudolf Eickemeyer in Yonkers, New York, and published in the field of magnetic hysteresis, earning worldwide professional recognition. [15] 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 Steinmetz quickly became known as the engineering wizard in GE's engineering community. [15]

AC steady state circuit theory

Steinmetz's work revolutionized AC circuit theory and analysis, which had been carried out using complicated, time-consuming calculus-based methods. In the groundbreaking paper, "Complex Quantities and Their Use in Electrical Engineering", presented at a July 1893 meeting published in the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE), Steinmetz simplified these complicated methods to "a simple problem of algebra". He systematized the use of complex number phasor representation in electrical engineering education texts, whereby the lower-case letter "j" is used to designate the 90-degree rotation operator in AC system analysis. [2] [16] His seminal books and many other AIEE papers "taught a whole generation of engineers how to deal with AC phenomena". [2] [17]

AC transient theory

Steinmetz also greatly advanced the understanding of lightning. His systematic experiments resulted in the first laboratory created "man-made lightning", earning him the nickname the "Forger of Thunderbolts". [4] These were conducted in a football field-sized laboratory at General Electric, using 120,000 volt generators. He also erected a lightning tower to attract natural lightning in order to study its patterns and effects, which resulted in several theories.[ citation needed ]

Professional life

Steinmetz acted in the following professional capacities:

He was granted an honorary degree from Harvard University in 1901 [18] and a doctorate from Union College in 1903. [18]

Steinmetz wrote 13 books and 60 articles, not exclusively about engineering.[ further explanation needed ] He was a member and adviser to the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta at Union College, whose chapter house there was one of the first ever electrified residences. [20]

While serving as president of the Schenectady Board of Education Steinmetz introduced numerous progressive reforms, including extended school hours, school meals, school nurses, special classes for the children of immigrants, and the distribution of free textbooks. [10]

Personal life

In spite of his love for children and family life, Steinmetz remained unmarried, to prevent the spinal deformity afflicting himself, his father, and grandfather from being passed on to any offspring. [10]

When Joseph LeRoy Hayden, a loyal and hardworking lab assistant, announced that he would marry and look for his own living quarters, Steinmetz made the unusual proposal of opening his large home, complete with research lab, greenhouse, and office to the Haydens and their prospective family. Hayden favored the idea, but his future wife was very wary of the unorthodox setup. She finally agreed after Steinmetz's assurance that she could run the house as she saw fit. [10]

After an uneasy start, the arrangement worked well for all parties, especially after three Hayden children were born. Steinmetz legally adopted Joseph Hayden as his son, becoming grandfather to the youngsters, entertaining them with fantastic stories and spectacular scientific demonstrations. The unusual but harmonious living arrangements lasted for the rest of Steinmetz's life. [10]

Steinmetz founded America's first glider club, but none of its prototypes "could be dignified with the term 'flight'". [21] [22] [lower-alpha 2]

Steinmetz was a lifelong agnostic. [23] [lower-alpha 3] He died of a heart attack on October 26, 1923, and was buried in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady. [24]

Legacy

Group being given a tour of the Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jersey in 1921, Steinmetz (center), Albert Einstein (to his right) Albert Einstein with other engineers and scientists at Marconi RCA radio station 1921.jpg
Group being given a tour of the Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jersey in 1921, Steinmetz (center), Albert Einstein (to his right)

The "Forger of Thunderbolts" [4] and "Wizard of Schenectady" [5] earned wide recognition among the scientific community and numerous awards and honors both during his life and posthumously.

"Steinmetz's equation", derived from his experiments, defines the approximate heat energy due to magnetic hysteresis released, per cycle per unit area of magnetic material. [lower-alpha 4] [25] A Steinmetz solid is the solid body generated by the intersection of two or three cylinders of equal radius at right angles. Steinmetz equivalent circuit theory is still widely used for the design and testing of induction motors. [26] [27]

One of the highest technical recognitions given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the IEEE Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award , is given for major contributions to standardization within the field of electrical and electronics engineering. Other awards include the Certificate of Merit of Franklin Institute, 1908; the Elliott Cresson Medal, 1913; and the Cedergren Medal, 1914. [28]

The Charles P. Steinmetz Memorial Lecture series was begun in his honor in 1925, [29] sponsored by the Schenectady branch of the IEEE. [30] Through 2017 seventy-three gatherings have taken place, held almost exclusively at Union College, featuring notable figures such as Nobel laureate experimental physicist Robert A. Millikan, helicopter inventor Igor Sikorsky, nuclear submarine pioneer Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (1963), Nobel-winning semiconductor inventor William Shockley, and Internet 'founding father' Leonard Kleinrock. [31] The Charles P. Steinmetz Scholarship is awarded annually by the college, [32] underwritten since its inception in 1923 by the General Electric Company. [30]

The Charles P. Steinmetz Memorial Scholarship was established at Union by Marjorie Hayden, daughter of Joseph and Corrine Hayden, and is awarded to students majoring in engineering or physics. [33]

Steinmetz's connection to Union is further celebrated with the annual Steinmetz Symposium, [34] 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.

Steinmetz was portrayed in 1959 by the actor Rod Steiger in the CBS television anthology series, The Joseph Cotten Show . The episode focused on his socialist activities in Germany. [35]

A Chicago public high school, Steinmetz College Prep, is named for him. [36]

A public park in north Schenectady, New York was named for him in 1931. [37]

Steinmetz is featured in John Dos Passos' U.S.A. trilogy in one of the biographies. [38] He also serves as a major character in Starling Lawrence's The Lightning Keeper. [39]

Novelist John Ball grew up in Steinmetz's house. His parents were graduate students paid by General Electric to live with and take care of the man Ball called "Uncle Steinie". Ball used to tell his Steinmetz stories at the Southern California Mystery Writers Association meetings.[ citation needed ]

Steinmetz is a major character in the novel Electric City by Elizabeth Rosner.

Moe refers to Curly as a "Steinmetz" in the 1944 Three Stooges short Busy Buddies . [40]

Bibliography

Patents

At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents: [3]

Works

Other sources

  • 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.
  • Broderick, John Thomas (1924). Steinmetz and His Discoveries. Robson & Adee.
  • Caldecott, Ernest; Alger, Philip Langdon (1965). Steinmetz the Philosopher. Schenectady, NY: Mohawk Development Service.
  • Garlin, Sender (1977). "Charles Steinmetz: Scientist and Socialist (1865–1923): Including the Complete Steinmetz-Lenin Correspondence". Three Radicals. New York: American Institute for Marxist Studies.
  • Gilbert, James B. (Winter 1974). "Collectivism and Charles Steinmetz". Business History Review. 48 (4): 520–540. doi:10.2307/3113539. JSTOR   3113539.
  • Goodrich, Arthur (June 1904). "Charles P. Steinmetz, Electrician". The World's Work. issue 8. pp. 4867–4869..
  • Hart, Larry (1978). Steinmetz in Schenectady: A Picture History of Three Memorable Decades. Old Dorp Books.
  • Hammond, John Winthrop (1924). Charles Proteus Steinmetz: A Biography. New York: The Century & Co.
  • Kline, Ronald R. (1992). Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Knowlton, A. E. (1949). Standard Electrical of Electrical Engineers. McGraw-Hill. p. 49 (§2.67), 323 (§4.280).
  • Lavine, Sigmund A. (1955). Steinmetz, Maker of Lightning. Dodd, Mead & Co.
  • Leonard, Jonathan Norton (1929). Loki: The Life of Charles Proteus Steinmetz. New York: Doubleday.
  • Miller, Floyd (1962). The Electrical Genius of Liberty Hall: Charles Proteus Steinmetz. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Miller, John Anderson; Steinmetz, Charles Proteus (1958). Modern Jupiter: The Story of Charles Proteus Steinmetz. American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Remscheid, Emil J.; Charves, Virginia Remscheid (1977). Recollections of Steinmetz: A Visit to the Workshops of Dr. Charles Proteus Steinmetz. General Electric Company, Research and Development.
  • Whitehead, John B., Jr. (1901). "Review: Alternating Current Phenomena, by C. P. Steinmetz" (PDF). Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. (3rd ed.). 7 (9): 399–408. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1901-00825-7.
  • "Charles Proteus Steinmetz". IEEE Engineering Management Review. IEEE. 44 (2): 7–9. 2016. doi:10.1109/EMR.2016.2568678.

See also

Notes

  1. Quoting from Alger, "Steinmetz was truly the patron saint of the GE motor business." [2]
  2. He founded the Mohawk Aerial Navigation Company, Ltd. [21] Steinmetz also partnered with others to establish the Mohawk River Aerial Navigation, Transportation, and Exploration Company, Unlimited. [22]
  3. 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..." [23]
  4. , where η is hysteresis coefficient, βmax is maximum flux density and k is an empirical exponent.

Related Research Articles

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The Edison Tech Center is an interactive learning center with a central theme of electricity and engineering. The organization was founded in 2001 under the name Edison Exploratorium, and changed to Edison Steinmetz Center and finally the Edison Tech Center in 2009. It is located at 136 Broadway, Schenectady, New York.

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Charles P. Steinmetz Memorial Lecture

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References

  1. Charles Proteus Steinmetz. Invent Now, Inc. Hall of Fame profile. Invent Now, Inc. Retrieved May 25, 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Alger & Arnold 1976 , pp. 1380–1383
  3. 1 2 "C. P. Steinmetz". Becklaser.
  4. 1 2 3 Steinmetz, Forger of Thunderbolts; Charles Proteus Steinmetz: A Biography by John Winthrop Hammond
  5. 1 2 3 King, Gilbert. "Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady".
  6. Clemens, Nora; Greenberger, Robert (August 15, 2011). Discovering the Nature of Energy (1st ed.). New York: Rosen Publishing Group. p. 78. ISBN   978-1448847020.
  7. 1 2 3 Kline 2014.
  8. Garlin 1977
  9. Credo: Unitarians and Universalists of Yesteryear Talk about Their Lives and Motivations. Eric Cherry. September 25, 2018. ISBN   9780970549907 via Google Books.
  10. 1 2 3 4 5 King, Gilbert. "Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the Wizard of Schenectady". Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. Ronald R. Klein, Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist (Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology), 1992, ISBN   978-0801842986.
  12. "Charles Steinmetz: Union's Electrical Wizard". Union College Magazine. November 1, 1998. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2009.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. workerseducation.org – Charles Proteus Steinmetz . Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  14. See also IEC Electropedia's: hysteresis, steady state of a system, complex number and transient behaviour.
  15. 1 2 "The Magnetic Force of Charles Proteus Steinmetz". IEEE Power Engineering Review. 16 (9): 7. February 1996. doi:10.1109/MPER.1996.535476.
  16. Bedell, Frederick (1942). "History of A-C Wave Form, Its Determination and Standardization". Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. 61 (12): 865. doi:10.1109/T-AIEE.1942.5058456.
  17. "Steinmetz, Putting it in Perspective - R, L, and C Elements and the Impedance Concept" (PDF). Zabreb School of Engineering. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 5, 2014. Retrieved December 21, 2012.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 lemelson.mit.edu website, "Charles Steinmetz"
  19. "Charles Proteus Steinmetz". IEEE Global History Network. IEEE. Retrieved August 8, 2011.
  20. "Union Magazine Winter 2019". Issuu. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  21. 1 2 Crouch, Tom D. (February 7, 2002). A Dream of Wings: Americans and the Airplane, 1875–1905, pp. 171–172.
  22. 1 2 Froehlich, Fritz; Kent, Allen (editors, 1990). 'The Froehlich/Kent Encyclopedia of Telecommunications: Volume 15, p. 467
  23. 1 2 Hammond 1924 , p. 447
  24. Charles Steinmetz at Find a Grave
  25. Knowlton 1949 , pp. 49 (§2.67), 323 (§4.280)
  26. Knowlton 1949 , p. 711 (§7.207)
  27. Steinmetz & Berg 1897
  28. Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Pioneer of Alternating Current
  29. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2018.Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. 1 2 "IEEE Schenectady Section History – Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org.
  31. "Dr. Charles Proteus Steinmetz memorial lecture series".
  32. "Charles P. Steinmetz Scholarship (Union College-NY) – Scholarship Library". www.scholarshiplibrary.com.
  33. "Union College, Endowed Scholarships" (PDF).
  34. "Steinmetz Symposium: Celebrating 25 years of student research". Union College. May 9, 2015.
  35. On Trial (The Joseph Cotten Show) on IMDb
  36. "Who was Charles Steinmetz?". Steinmetz College Prep. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
  37. Steinmetz Park Association (2006). "Steinmetz Park Master Plan" (PDF). Schenectady, N.Y. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 20, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2013.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  38. The 42nd Parallel, p. 335.
  39. Smith, Dinitia (May 13, 2006). "Starling Lawrence Writes a Novel About the Early Days of G.E". The New York Times.
  40. "Charles Proteus Steinmetz". coopertoons.com. Retrieved July 26, 2019.

Sources