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David Chandler Prince influenced electrical switchgear design in a way paralleled by few other engineers. He made decisions and took actions that changed forever the way power engineers design and apply switchgear. His contributions continue to influence this work. Prior to 1925, switching technologies were mostly an empirical art based on hydraulic conceptions of arc interruption. By 1935, art evolved into science based on an electronic or plasma view of electric arc behavior. Prince led the way as engineers worldwide extended switchgear technologies from bulk oil and air magnetic to new frontiers of vacuum, minimum oil, oil blast, and air blast. In addition, he wrote one of the first textbooks on mercury-are rectifiers and coined the term “inverter”, so commonly used today. Prince was president of the AIEE in 1941 and recipient of the Lamme Medal in 1945. But the single greatest contribution for which he should be remembered was design of oil-impulse circuit breakers for Hoover (Boulder) Dam. His new technology was much more efficient in its use of materials; the new designs required only one-tenth as much oil as the older bulk-oil technology required. Today, few practising engineers recognize his name or know of his contributions. So, if he made so many contributions, why don't we recognize his name? Has he simply been forgotten? This article explores this and other interesting aspects of David Prince and his technology
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