Engineering’s In My Blood

Yes, it’s true. Both of my grandfathers were engineers; my father’s father was an electrical engineer and my mother’s father was a mechanical engineer. (It’s an interesting point that there was more overlap between those fields during their careers than there is now. My grandfather Schabtach did a lot of work on power-generating turbines, work which seems much more mechanical than electrical by today’s micro-miniature topics of electrical engineering.) My mother just ran across this page which has photos of a glamorous estate once owned by a more distant engineering relative, Oliver Crosby. Oliver Crosby was my father’s great-grandfather, born 1-29-1856, died 12-8-1922. Oliver designed some of the earth-moving equipment used to dig the Panama Canal and founded a company called American Hoist & Derrick (later called AmHoist, I think) along the way. Oliver did fairly well with his work as the photos of his estate will attest. My family knows him mostly as the inventor of the Crosby Clip, a little gizmo used to fasten steel cables together. You’ve probably seen one if you happen to have looked at something like the bracing cables on a telephone pole; there’s a picture of them on this page.

By adam

Go ahead, try to summarize yourself in a sentence or two.

1 comment

  1. Your great-grandfather Charles Dorwin Porter was also an engineer. He worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad until his death in the flu epidemic of 1918. He was the pencil-pushing sort of engineer, but his father-in-law, your great-great-grandfather Richardson (whose first name escapes me at the moment) and father of your great-grandmother Ruth Richardson Porter, was a REAL engineer and drove a train for the PRR. (I seem to remember that CDP is reputed to have graduated from Purdue at the age of 16, but will have to check on that.)

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