Price, Harold Wilberforce

1901 Electrical
Inducted: 1984

Immediately after graduation, Harold Price served on faculty at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. Initially serving as a demonstrator in 1902, he eventually became a full professor in 1919. In 1936 he served as the second ever head of the department of Electrical Engineering. In 1946, he became Professor Emeritus.

In his service with the Faculty, he was an excellent, clear teacher. A master of the demonstration lecture. Beloved by his students and an ever-willing helper thereof, as well as his colleagues in the Faculty. With A.R. Zimmer, he built up fine electrical laboratories. A loyal hard-working member of Faculty Council during his 35 years thereon, and chairman of many important committees.

He early showed an inventive frame of mind, as evidenced by the following accomplishments:

  • 1908: Price automatic train-stopping device, technically a complete success
  • 1921: (with C.K. Duff) series of papers on current transformers, authoritative source for years until the development of new magnetic materials
  • 1927: (with V.G. Smith) responsible for University clock system, with research in timekeeping accuracy of master clocks
  • 1927: (with C.K. Duff) research in frequency control for large electrical power systems – embodied into Ontario Hydro. A by-product was the control of wind velocity in the N.R.C. wind tunnel
  • 1935: McCharles Prize, in recognition of work in frequency control
  • 1942: because he would accept no monetary compensation from Ontario Hydro, this organization established in his honour the H.W. Price Research Fellowship
  • 1946: (with D.N. Cass-Beggs, on request of Sir Frederick Banting regarding the problem of aircraft pilot blackout under extreme accelerations) produced an accelerator for use by RCAF Aviation Medical Research Committee, awarded M.B.E. therefor.

He was also active in the AIEE (1938; Life Member) and in many other engineering organizations. For many years gave annual lecture to Toronto Section, AIEE, and was Chairman thereof, 1914-16. Active on various committees on N.R.C. and the Canadian Standards Association.