Charles Proteus Steinmetz
"The Lord of Lightning", "The Magic Dwarf from Breslau", "Electro-dwarf" – these was how journalists nicknamed outstanding mathematician, electrical scientist, engineer and inventor Dr. Charles Steinmetz.
Steinmetz, who only stood four feet tall as an adult,suffered from dwarfism, as did his father and grandfather. But his numerous discoveries and inventions in the sphere of alternating current inscribed his name among such immortal giants of science as Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, and Thomas Edison, all of whom were his friends. Steinmetz was the technical director of the largest American electric concern "General Electric Company" (GEC).
The owners of the GEC said that their main capital was not money, but the ingenious brain of Dr. Steinmetz.
Steinmetz held social-democratic views his entire life. He supported the plans developed by the State Commission for Electrification of Russia and appealed to American businesses to give money on Russian electrification.
In a letter to Lenin, he wrote: "I would be very happy if I could somehow help Russia with advice and suggestions in the field of technology and, in particular, electrical engineering."
Unfortunately, Steinmetz died on October 26, 1923, and did not manage to fulfill his intentions. America mourned over his passing. When the coffin with Steinmetz's body was lowered into the grave, all American General Electric plants stopped working for five minutes.
In November 1, 1923, The Kuzbass Bulletin published his obituary: "We regret to report the death of Dr. Charles P. Steinmetz, a well-known electrical engineer and socialist. He was a close and loyal friend of Kuzbass. Member of the American Advisory Commission, he was always ready to share his advice and valuable time."
During a conversation with Charles Wood, a New York journalist, Dr. Steinmetz said: "It is a pity that I cannot go to Kuzbass. It is there that the working class people must concentrate their activities... "