Emigrates to the United States

In 1889, he emigrated to the United States. Arriving with only money borrowed from his travelling companion and friend, Oscar Asmussen. Initially Steinmetz was rejected for entry and placed in a pen for deportation. His twisted body and over-sized head were red flags that he was not fit to enter. In addition he had severely decayed teeth that had become infected on his trans-Atlantic voyage, and combined with a massive…

Flees to Switzerland in 1889

This photograph depicts Steinmetz (far right, back row) along with fellow socialist students posing around the bust of German socialist hero Ferdinand Lasalle. The photo would lead authorities to them, and their illegal socialist newspapers Steinmetz left Germany to avoid arrest.

Steinmetz The Recruiter

In Schenectady, Steinmetz used his budding reputation as an “electrical genius” to build the G.E. team. “Steinmetz recruited a number of really talented people to the company. And I would say in the long run that was his greatest contribution to General Electric. Names that most people don’t know, but names that some people do, like Alexanderson for example. He was attracted to the idea of working for General Electric…

President of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers

Steinmetz with former Presidents of the AIEE Steinmetz served as President AIEE, American International Electrical Engineers in 1902. This was an amazing accomplishment for a man not educated as an engineer. Thirteen years earlier in 1889 Steinmetz had been penniless, homeless, and on the run from German authorities seeking his arrest because of  Socialist activities.