Steinmetz, Charles Proteus & Ernst J. Berg; Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena. New York, W. J. Johnston Co., 1897.

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Steinmetz, Charles Proteus & Ernst J. Berg; Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena. New York, W. J. Johnston Co., 1897. Quarto, pp. xvii, 431, 12 (ads), numerous figures, illustrations, tables. 

The work is complete and in the original green cloth with gilt titles. The binding is tight with minor spotting to lower margin of front board and minor edge scuffing. The text is clean and bright with ownership signature of noted electrical engineer pioneer Francis Bacon Crocker (1861-1921) on upper margin of title page. In very good condition.

Steinmetz (1865 – 1923) was a German-American mathematician and electrical engineer. He was employed at General Electric in Schenectady, New York and was also a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Union College. He pioneered the development of alternating current which made possible the rapid expansion of the electric power industry in the United States.  Steinmetz made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of “hysteresis” and thus enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment, especially electric motors for use in America’s growing manufacturing industry. At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents. Steinmetz’ principles were first presented at the International Electrical Congress in 1893 but few understood his mathematics. His book “Theory and Calculation of Alternating Current Phenomena” (coauthored with Ernst J. Berg in 1897) was read and likewise understood by only a very few electrical engineers. The problem that Steinmetz faced was that electrical engineers were not taught enough mathematics to understand his new mathematical treatment of problems. Gradually, through his writing, lecturing, and teaching, his method of calculation with complex numbers was universally adopted in work with alternating currents.

Berg (1871-1941) was a Swedish-American electrical engineer. He began working as an assistant to Steinmetz at General Electric and then joined the faculty of electrical engineering at Union College. He was associated with Union College until his death in 1941. Berg was also a pioneer of radio, having produced the first two-way radio voice program in the United States.

One of the individuals who understood Steinmetz was Francis Bacon Crocker who owned this copy of Steinmetz’ book and applied the ideas to electrical engineering.  Because of his industrial experience Crocker understood the role of uniform standards in the growing field of electrical equipment. According to Thomas Edison, “Crocker’s painstaking work earned the lasting gratitude of every one connected with the industry throughout the world”. Lord Kelvin called Crocker “one of the world’s two greatest electrical engineers”.