William Anthony

William A. Anthony
William Anthony
Coventry, RI, USA
Associated organizations
Cornell University
Fields of study

1890 -1891

William A. Anthony, AIEE President, 1890 - 1891, professor of physics and mechanics at many U.S. universities. In addition to teaching, he also contributed articles to many electrical engineering magazines, and was an electric engineer consultant in New York City.


Anthony was president of the AIEE from 1890 to 1891.

Anthony, William Arnold, scientist, was born at Coventry, R.I., Nov. 17, 1835, son of William H. and Hannah Whipple (Arnold) Anthony, and a descendant of John Anthony, who came, with his wife, to this country about 1646. He was educated in Washington village, R.I.; the Friends' School, Providence, and the Providence Conference Seminary at East Greenwich, R.I. He entered the scientific school of Yale College, and was graduated at the head of his class, with the degree of Ph.B., in 1856. For a short time following his graduation he was principal of the public schools in Crompton, R.I., and he taught for a year in the Providence Conference Seminary. He spent a year in a cotton machinery manufactory, to acquire a thorough practical knowledge of tools and their uses, and then resumed teaching, first at the Delaware Literary Institute, Franklin, N.Y.; later at Antioch College, Ohio. He next went to the Iowa State Agricultural College, at Ames, IA., as professor of mechanics and physics, and in 1872 he was called to fill the chair of physics at Cornell University. During the 15 years there he did much to originate and develop a course of study in electrical engineering, which was one of the most important in the university. In 1887 he accepted the position of consulting engineer of the Mather Electric Co., at Manchester, Conn., a position he resigned in 1893, to open an office in New York City as consulting electrical engineer and electrical expert, which he still continues (1901). In 1894 Prof. Anthony became connected with the Cooper Union night school of science as professor of physics, where he continues to teach. In connection with Prof. Brackett, of Princeton University, he published "Elementary Text-book of Physics" (1887) and in 1898 he published "Lecture Notes on the Theory of Electrical Measurements". He has been for many years a regular contributor to scientific journals and magazines. Prof. Anthony was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Franklin Institute, of Philadelphia, Pa. In 1861 he was married to Eliza Mathilda, daughter of James and Caroline (Remington) Girven, and has one son, Charles C. Anthony.

Further Reading

Papers of William Arnold Anthony - biography and correspondence, 1901, 1935