Steinmetz, Charles P.

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Steinmetz, Charles P. Gender: M
Charles Proteus Steinmetz
born on 9 April 1865 at 12:00 (= 12:00 noon )
Place Breslau, Germany, 51n0654, 17e0212
Timezone LMT m17e0212 (is local mean time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Holliday
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 19°36' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 00°47 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 09°02'

Charles P. Steinmetz


German writer, scientist, mathematician and electrical engineer, considered a genius due to his many discoveries and inventions. He taught electrophysics and wrote books on the theory of alternating current. His textbooks include "Engineering Mathematics," 1911.

His father Carl Heinrich was a railroad lithographer and one of his best friends. Born Karl August Rudolf Steinmetz, he was afflicted with kyphosis, more commonly called hunchback. He had a deformed left leg and was only four feet three inches tall when fully grown. He was raised in poverty and initially was a poor student, but by the time he was ten, his academic performance had improved dramatically, and he was considered one of the school’s brightest pupils. In particular, he showed a great aptitude for mathematics, physics and classical literature. In 1882, he enrolled at the University of Breslau, where he joined a student socialist club later banned by the government because of its affiliation with the German Social Democrats.

His socialist activities eventually forced him to leave Germany, and in 1889, his friend, Oscar Asmussen, suggested going to America, arranging the financing for their journey through the help of his rich uncle. Their arrival, however, didn’t go smoothly. When the custom officials saw Steinmetz, deformed, unable to speak English and without funds, they doubted his ability to become a valued citizen. Asmussen again stepped in, and both were allowed to disembark and begin their new life in the United States. Soon after his arrival, Steinmetz got a job with Eickenmeyer and Osterheld Manufacturing Company in New York City. He changed his name to Charles Proteus Steinmetz in an attempt to be "Americanized." At his new job, he had a small laboratory of his own where he later made his first two major discoveries. The first was the law of hysteresis, and the second was his groundbreaking contribution to the theory of alternating current.

In 1886, Thomas Edison founded General Electric Company and wanted to hire Steinmetz. Loyal to his current employer, he turned down the job offer. Edison responded by purchasing Eickenmeyer and its patents in 1893, getting the employee he originally wanted as a result. When transferred to Schenectady in 1894, Steinmetz built a campsite on the Mohawk River. Going up and down the river in a canoe, he worked on his mathematical calculations. He was congenial and exhibited a great zest for life, and on weekends, he invited guests to his camp and cooked for them, but refused to do the dishes. Washing dishes, sometimes several days worth, became their chore. After the camp was hit by lightning, he used the opportunity to invent a method of producing lightning so he could further study it. In 1902, he became the head of the School of Electrical Engineering at Union College in Schenectady, and under his leadership, it became one of the best in the country. He resigned in 1913 but continued to teach there until 1923. He refused all compensation from the school during his 21 years of dedicated service.

Throughout his life, Steinmetz considered helping his fellow man to be a priority, and he was an active member of the Socialist Party despite his position as a business executive. In 1910, he gave a speech warning of the dangers of air pollution, urging the use of electricity to combat the problem. He loved children and was dedicated to helping them. He served on the local Board of Education and was instrumental in getting more schools built, setting up classes for handicapped youngsters and having textbooks issued at no charge.

He never married due to his fear that any children he sired would share his deformity. He acquired a family of sorts when he adopted a young engineer, J. L. Hayden, who later married and had children. Steinmetz loved animals, and his house was described as a "zoo," filled with dogs, raccoons, squirrels, crows, and a pet monkey named "Jenny." He often cared for injured animals brought to him by his neighbors.

Steinmetz died on 10/26/1923, Schenectady, NY.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : Begin a program of study 1882 (University of Breslau)
  • Family : Change residence 1889 (Emmigrated to U.S.)
  • Work : New Career 1893 (Worked for Edison)
  • Social : Change of Lifestyle 1894 (Built campsite on river)
  • Work : New Career 1902 (Head of the school of Electrical Engineering)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1911 (Textbook released)
  • Work : Retired 1913 (Retired from post but continued to teach)
  • Death, Cause unspecified 26 October 1923 at 12:00 noon in Schenectady, NY (Age 58)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Dana Holliday quotes Ralph Kraum in "Best of the NAJ," data from him


  • Traits : Body : Size (4' 3" tall)
  • Traits : Mind : Exceptional mind
  • Traits : Personality : Principled strongly
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Handicapped (Deformed)
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (Raised in poverty)
  • Family : Relationship : Married late/never (Never)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Lifestyle : Work : Loves job (Zest and devotion to his tasks)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Philanthropist (Taught over 20 years without pay)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Animals, pets (Loved animals)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Outdoors (Camping)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Philosopher/ Humanist (Humanitarian)
  • Personal : Birth : Defects, Handicaps (Hunchback)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Electricity)
  • Vocation : Engineer : Electrical
  • Vocation : Science : Mathematics/ Statistics
  • Vocation : Writers : Textbook/ Non-fiction
  • Notable : Extraordinary Talents : For Abstract thought
  • Notable : Famous : Historic figure (Inventor, genius)
  • Notable : Book Collection : American Book