Life Too Short — the “Lost” Story of Superstar Engineer-Entrepreneur – Fred Stark Pearson

October 9, 2019 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm America/New York Timezone
MIT Lincoln Laboratory - Cafeteria
244 Wood Street

Life Members Affinity Group

Title: A Life Too Short — the“Lost” Story of Superstar Engineer-Entrepreneur – Fred Stark Pearson

Speaker: Gilmore G. Cooke

Fred Stark Pearson (1861-1915) was an innovator who built systems and businesses from the emerging inventions of the late 19th century. Pearson could claim to have been the central figure in creating the pioneer transit systems in Boston and Manhattan as well as building entire electric utility systems, generating plants, mining, and railroad systems, and more across three continents. Little known today, Pearson was the ultimate ‘mover and shaker’ of his time, masterminding businesses in North and South America and in Europe; setting standards for quality, reliability, and public service while also earning handsome profits for himself and his investors. Raised in the entrepreneurial and technical ferment of 19th century Massachusetts, Pearson showed early promise and his career blossomed promptly upon graduation from Tufts College. Because of his tragic death, along with his beloved wife Mabel, on the RMS Lusitania in 1915, his potential was only partially realized and his legacy obscured.

This lecture will focus on the life and works of Fred Pearson, based upon research on the life of this startling entrepreneur. The author’s new book, “The Existential Joys of Fred Stark Pearson (1861-1915): Engineer, Entrepreneur, Envisioner” details his findings. After the talk, the author will be available to sign copies of his book (available via Amazon prior to the talk).

Biography: Gilmore G. Cooke is a retired professional electrical engineer and amateur engineering historian. Cooke is a frequent speaker at conferences, and actively involved in leading the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) milestones program. He received the Bachelor of Engineering degree in electrical engineering from McGill University Montreal. He spent most of his career contributing to large-scale public and private sector projects across North America. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts and California. A member of the Reliability Chapter, he is currently chair of the Boston Section.

The meeting will be held at MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Main Cafeteria, 244 Wood Street., Lexington, MA at 4:00 PM. Refreshments will be available at 3:30 PM. Please use the Wood Street Gate to the Laboratory. Follow signs from outside reception to the Main Cafeteria (elevators are available via reception). For directions go to