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The early development of the magneto-electric machine

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Attribution of the magneto-electric machine to Michael Faraday derives from the fact that it was he who proposed and named such a machine following his discovery of electromagnetic induction. Faraday did not, however, build such a machine although he did contrive to generate electricity with a revolving disc device. The technological origins of the first viable magneto-electric machines stem rather from a different concept in design although, of course, wholly dependent upon the newly discovered electromagnetic principle. Thus, although Faraday's position remains without question, it is, nevertheless, largely due to other practitioners, such as the instrument makers Pixii, Saxton, and Clarke, that practical development took place in the 1830s. The present paper considers the early development of the magneto-electric machine and pays particular attention to the communication of ideas among the community of philosopher-mechanics.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 18 Barton Close, Landrake, Saltash, Cornwall, PL12 5BA, U.K.

Publication date: 1993-03-01

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