Harry Charlesworth


Harry P. Charlesworth
Harry Charlesworth
Haverhill, MA, USA
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study

1932 -1933

Harry P. Charlesworth, AIEE President, 1932 - 1933, vice president of Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., where he directed the development and research of telephone communication.


Charlesworth was AIEE president from 1932 to 1933.

Harry Prescott Charlesworth ranks among the outstanding engineers in the field of telephone plant engineering having handled with repeated success large responsibilities in the Bell system, which required an executive ability of the highest order and a thorough understanding of engineering principles and practice. He was born in Haverhill, Mass., April 7, 1882, and after attending the public school and Wheeler’s Academy there, he entered Phillips-Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., where he prepared for college. He received the B.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1905 and immediately joined the staff of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, then located in Boston.

For the first 2 years he worked in the circuit development division of the engineering department. Then in 1907 he was transferred to the toll traffic division. During the period 1907 to 1919 he was assigned to special problem work. Among the more important of these assignments were the development of alternating high-voltage telegraph systems and the development of systems for use with small gauge long cable circuits. He also acted as advisory engineer to the Chesapeake and Potomac Company in important matters having to do with the Government telephone requirements in Washington, from 1917 to 1919 during the course of the War.

In 1919 he became equipment and transmission engineer of the engineering department of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and a year later he was appointed plant engineer, taking responsible charge of the telephone properties and having general supervision over the entire plant engineering work of the Bell system. He has acted as consulting engineer for the chief engineers and executive managers of the associated Bell companies throughout the country.

In 1928 he was elected vice-president of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc. where he directed development, research and related activities pertaining to the art of telephonic communication. In 1933 he resigned to accept his present position as assistant chief engineer of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in New York. Mr. Charlesworth has been especially generous in giving his time to Institute activities. He was a manger (1924-27), chairman of the meetings and papers (now technical program) committee (1927-29) and chairman of the New York Section (1929). In 1930 he became vice-president (representing district No. 3) and a member of the board of directors. He has participated as member and chairman of many committees. At present he is serving on the executive, Institute policy, and Edison medal committees, the special committee on model registration law, and represents the Institute on the John Fritz medal award committee. He is a member of the board of United Engineering Trustees, Inc., and a member of National Research Council, division of Engineering and industrial research. He is a member of the corporation of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn.