As I remember: the autobiography of Stephen P. Timoshenko

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Autobiography of the Russian scientist and teacher who tells of his childhood in the Ukraine and his experience before and after the Revolution.

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As this very important work is unaffordable, I wish that it could be reprinted.

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This is one of the most amazing stories and historical accounts of modern engineering. Stephen Timoshenko was raised and educated in Russia and was one of the preeminent engineers of his time for his theoretical extension of the field. He made great contributions to the science of "strength of materials", mechanical vibrations and railway engineering. His many textbooks were translated into English and other languages and made him a fortune. They are amongst the best written books of their kind. They are still used today.
His story is frightening as he tells it in this autobiography. Avoiding sure capture and possible death as he escapes from his homeland as the terror descends upon him.
To any engineer who may not know much of the history of his own field, this is a must read. As it turns out, my father chaired an ASME session in which Timoshenko delivered a paper back in the late 1950s or early 1960s. At the conference he was able to meet and speak with Timoshenko at length. It was a cherished moment in my father's life. He was of course familiar with Timoshenko and had read this book and all of his other text books.
Timoshenko, after leaving Russia, settled in the United States. His first job was with Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. Whilst there he noticed that the engineers at Westinghouse did not know anything about mechanical vibrations, to the degree that he thought they should. He gave a series of nightly lectures and brought them up to speed quite quickly. According to my father he was an exceptional engineering "lecturer" and must have been a superb professor. My father would have known this because he also was a professor of mechanical engineering at Princeton University and I believe heard him lecture at Columbia University on some special occasion.
This is a very enjoyable read and there is no mathematics in it to slow down the pace of the writing.
John Archibald
Research Mining Engineer ( B.S. UW-Platteville )
Northfield, Minnesota


My Parents
My father at age 50
Early Childhood

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