Electric Generator
Inventor Michael Faraday
Michael Faraday
Born22 September 1791
Died25 August 1867 | Age 75

Michael Faraday 1831

British physicist and chemist, best known for his discoveries of electromagnetic induction and of the laws of electrolysis and his invention of the electric generator.

Born in 1791 to a poor family in London, England, Michael Faraday (1791-1867) was extremely curious, questioning everything. He felt an urgent need to know more. At age 13, he became an errand boy for a bookbinding shop in London. He read every book that he bound, and decided that one day he would write a book of his own. He became interested in the concept of energy, specifically force. Because of his early reading and experiments with the idea of force, he was able to make important discoveries in electricity later in life. He eventually became a chemist and physicist.

Electromagnetic Rotation
Wind Turbine
Wind Turbine

In 1821, Danish physicist and chemist Hans Christian ├śrsted observed the phenomenon of electromagnetism when an electrical wire was placed near a compass.
Michael Faraday built two devices to produce what he called electromagnetic rotation: that is a continuous circular motion from the circular magnetic force around a wire. Ten years later, in 1831, he began his great series of experiments in which he discovered electromagnetic induction. These experiments form the basis of modern electromagnetic technology.

First motor
First motor
In 1821 Faraday creates two experiments for the demonstration of electromagnetic rotation. A vertically suspended wire moves in a circular orbit around a magnet. The Homopolar motor.

In 1831, using his "induction ring", Michael Faraday made one of his greatest discoveries - electromagnetic induction: the "induction" or generation of electricity in a wire by means of the electromagnetic effect of a current in another wire. The induction ring was the first electric transformer.

First Generator
Faraday Disk Generator
Faraday Disk Generator

In 1831 Michael Faraday discovered the operating principle of electromagnetic generators. The horseshoe-shaped magnet (A) created a magnetic field through the disk (D). When the disk was turned this induced an electric current radially outward from the centre toward the rim. The current flowed out through the sliding spring contact (m), to the external circuit, and back into the centre of the disk through the axle.

This break through, called a Farday Disk, lead the way for the modern electrical era we live in now.


Because of his work the unit of capacitance is named after Michael Faraday. A Farad measures how much electric charge is accumulated on the capacitor.
It's hard to imagine how we would cope today without Faraday's discoveries. Thousands of motors all around us make everyday chores so much easier.
Modern Electric Motor
Modern Electric Motor
Cordless Drill
Cordless Drill
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In History
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  • 10 February 1868.
    This month 156 years ago the world lost David Brewster
  • 26 February 1884.
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  • 10 February 1912.
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  • 23 February 1965.
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  • Trouser Press. 100 years ago July 8 1924 Peter Corby was born
  • 21 February 1741.
    This month 283 years ago the world lost Jethro Tull
  • 19 February 1927.
    This month 97 years ago the world lost Herbert Akroyd Stuart
  • 06 February 1804.
    This month 220 years ago the world lost Joseph Priestley
  • 200 years ago in 1824 Portland cement is patented
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