Daily Almanac for Sunday, January 29, 2023

On this date in 1895, Charles Steinmetz patented a system of distribution by alternating current.. Charles Proteus Steinmetz in 1915. By Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) at English Wikipedia – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

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, especially electric motors for use in industry.

At the time of his death, Steinmetz held over 200 patents. A genius in both mathematics and electronics, he did work that earned him the nicknames “Forger of Thunderbolts” and “The Wizard of Schenectady”. Steinmetz’s equation, Steinmetz solidsSteinmetz curves, and Steinmetz equivalent circuit 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 was affected by kyphosis, as was his father and grandfather. In spite of his love for children and family life, Steinmetz remained unmarried, to prevent his spinal deformity from being passed to any offspring.

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 wary of the unorthodox arrangement. She agreed after Steinmetz’s assurance that she could run the house as she saw fit.

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, harmonious living arrangement lasted for the rest of Steinmetz’s life.

Steinmetz founded America’s first glider club, but none of its prototypes “could be dignified with the term ‘flight'”.

Steinmetz was a lifelong agnostic. He died on October 26, 1923, and was buried in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady.


Question of the Day

I hear a lot about the Gulf Stream, but what exactly is it?

The Gulf Stream is an ocean current — like a river flowing through the sea rather than on land. The Gulf Stream moves northward along the east coast of the United States, across the North Atlantic Ocean, and then to northwestern Europe.

Advice of the Day

All glory comes from daring to begin.

Home Hint of the Day

Always keep your work area well ventilated when you are using solvents. Their strong odors can be dangerous unless accompanied by plenty of fresh air.

Word of the Day

Dewpoint temperature

The temperature to which a given parcel of air must be cooled before it becomes saturated; the temperature of an object when dew first forms on it.

Puzzle of the Day

What is it that goes when a wagon goes, stops when a wagon stops, is of no use to the wagon, and yet the wagon cannot go without it?

The noise of the wheels.


  • Thomas Paine (patriot) – 1737
  • William McKinley (25th U.S. president) – 1843
  • Anton Chekhov (author) – 1860
  • Whitney Warren (architect) – 1864
  • Vincente Blasco Ibanez (novelist) – 1867
  • W.C. Fields (actor) – 1880
  • Barnett Newman (painter) – 1905
  • Victor Mature (actor) – 1916
  • Katharine Ross (actress ) – 1940
  • Tom Selleck (actor) – 1945
  • Ann Jillian (actress) – 1951
  • Oprah Winfrey (television host) – 1954
  • Judy Norton-Taylor (actress) – 1958
  • Heather Graham (actress) – 1970
  • Sara Gilbert (actress) – 1975
  • Justin Hartley (actor) – 1977
  • Adam Lambert (singer) – 1982


  • Robert Frost (poet) – 1963
  • Jimmy Durante (actor) – 1980
  • Dick “Night Train” Lane (football player ) – 2002
  • Harold Russell (received two Oscars for portrayal of wounded veteran in The Best Years of Our Lives, after losing both his hands in WW II) – 2002
  • Joshua Miner (Outward Bound USA founder) – 2002
  • Mary-Ellis Bunim (producer who helped bring television into the age of reality with The Real World and Road Rules) – 2004
  • Larry L. McGraw (founder of Home Orchard Society) – 2005
  • Rod McKuen (poet) – 2015


  • Geologist William Edmond Logan became first Canadian-born knight– 1856
  • Kansas was admitted to the Union as the 34th state– 1861
  • Charles Steinmetz patented a system of distribution by alternating current.– 1895
  • U.S. physician Emil H. Grube became the first to use X-ray treatment for breast cancer– 1896
  • American Baseball League formed in Chicago– 1900
  • Carl Taylor’s ice cream cone-rolling machine patented– 1924
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first members– 1936
  • Actor Paul Newman married actress Joanne Woodward– 1958
  • Emily H. Warner became the first female pilot of a U.S. commercial airline– 1973
  • 21-pound 8-ounce bowfin caught in Forest Lake, South Carolina– 1980
  • Julio Cesar Chavez suffered the first defeat of his pro boxing career, losing his WBC super lightweight crown on a split decision to 32 year-old Frankie Randall in Las Vegas– 1994


  • The “Great Olympic Blowdown” windstorm struck the Washington coast, with winds up to 113 mph. Eight billion board feet of timber was destroyed in North Head, Washington.– 1921
  • 62 degrees in Nampa, Idaho– 1954
  • Fields full of snow rollers were sighted in Weld County, Colorado.– 2001
  • January 26 to 29: An atmospheric river caused a major West Coast storm – 2021

COURTESY www.almanac.com