Henry Ford, profiled in January and February on the Capitol Region's WMHT, changed American society forever with his Model T and mass production and distribution of the automobile. As powerful as he was, the auto giant was no match once for the Wizard of Schenectady.
Charles Steinmetz revolutionized the field of electrical circutry. Arriving at General Electric in 1896, Steinmetz changed the way engineers thought about circuits and machines. He became the most recognized name in electricity--next to Thomas Edison.
When Ford opened his mammoth River Rouge production plant in Michigan, there was an immediate problem with a key generator. Ford and his team were unable to solve the problem. He summoned Charles Steinmetz.
Once at the plant, Steinmentz studied the generator for two days and nights. He listened. He analyzed the situation. He consulted no one.
Finally, Steinmetz asked for a ladder and chalk. He marked a spot and told Ford's skeptical engineers to remove a plate and change a series of coils. The generator worked perfectly. The Wizard of Schenectady submitted a bill to Ford for $10,000.
Ford acknowledged Steinmetz's success, but questioned the size of the bill. Ford asked for an itemized bill.
- $1--cost of making chalk mark
- $9,999--knowing where to make chalk mark.
Henry Ford paid the bill.
Dave Balog explains money matters to Capitol Region families and businesses. firstname.lastname@example.org, 355-0967.