COMMEMORATIVE PHOTO ALBUM FEATURING 41 SECOND-GENERATION GELATIN SILVER PRINTS OF SCIENTIST CHARLES STEINMETZ’S LIFE PRESENTED TO AWARD-WINNING ELECTRICAL ENGINEER COMFORT A. ADAMS AT THE 15TH STEINMETZ MEMORIAL LECTURE IN 1942, IN ORIGINAL SHEEP-GILT
(STEINMETZ, Charles Proteus) STEINMETZ MEMORIAL FOUNDATION. Commemorative photo album presented to Comfort A. Adams who delivered the Fifteenth Steinmetz Memorial Lecture. [Schenectady, New York: Steinmetz Memorial Foundation, 1942]. Quarto, brad-bound as issued, original full brown sheep gilt, watered silk endpapers. $4200.
Commemorative album created in honor of acclaimed scientist Charles Steinmetz by the Steinmetz Memorial Foundation, with 41 full-page second-generation gelatin silver prints including portraits of Steinmetz, images of Steinmetz with Edison and Einstein, and scenes from Steinmetz’s life, presented to electrical engineer Comfort A. Adams who delivered the 15th Steinmetz Memorial Lecture “Cooperation Versus War” in 1942.
This commemorative album was produced by the Steinmetz Memorial Foundation and contains 41 full-page images from the life of Charles Steinmetz. Steinmetz, a German Jew, was born with dwarfism, hip dysplasia, and was also a hunchback. Though these challenges would have proves life-limiting—if not life-ending—for many born in the middle of the 19th century, Steinmetz instead excelled. He became known for his aptitude in math and physics, his own knowledge exceeding that of his teachers. However, by the time he was in university, his involvement in socialist causes had come to the attention of the authorities and his academic prowess proved to be no protection. Steinmetz fled to Zurich and then to America. Steinmetz’s work in America proved groundbreaking, especially in electrical engineering. GE, through buying a company that he worked for, took full advantage of his accomplishments. Steinmetz himself eventually secured over 200 patents. His work brought him into contact with other scientific luminaries including Albert Einstein and, on several occasions, with Thomas Edison. Indeed, pictures of Steinmetz with both Einstein and Edison are featured in this album. By 1922 (a year prior to his death), Steinmetz gave up on socialism, at least as part of America’s future, a decision that probably saved his legacy. “Steinmetz must be regarded as one of the fathers of electrical engineering, and his work symbolizes the fruitful interaction between mathematics, science, and practical engineering. He made outstanding contributions to the field, and his influence was transmitted not only by his discoveries and inventions, but also by his writings. Much of the methodology of modern circuit theory was developed and became widely known through his textbooks. His successful experience with GE encouraged other companies to become involved in basic research, which was a new departure in American industrial thinking. Finally, his was a true ‘rags to riches’ story that has been an inspiration to immigrants, to those affected with a physical disability, and to those whom society would dismiss as ‘non-conformists”(ANB). This book was presented to American electrical engineer Comfort A. Adams, who made great contributions in areas including the steel industry and commercial welding. “Adams was much recognized during his career. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He delivered the inaugural Adams Lecture for the American Welding Society and received its Samuel Wylie Miller Medal. In 1944 he received the American Institute of Electrical Engineer’s Lamme Medal both for his work in the theory and design of alternating-current machinery and for his work in welding. Perhaps his most prestigious award was the Edison Medal in 1956 for ‘pioneering achievements in the development of alternating current electric machines and in electrical welding; for vision and initiative in the formation of an engineering standards organization and for eminence as an educator and consulting engineer” (ANB). With The Story of Steinmetz, a GE promotional booklet that shares many of the images from this album, laid in.
Interior fine, a bit of light restoration to binding. Extremely good condition.