Electric Motor
Inventor
Inventor William Sturgeon
William Sturgeon
Born22 May 1783
Whittington
Died4 December 1850 | Age 67
Prestwich



William Sturgeon 1832


In 1832 Sturgeon built the first practical electric magnetic motor and the commutator.




Early Life
William Sturgeon inventor of the electro-magnetic motor plaque
William Sturgeon inventor of the electro-magnetic motor plaque

Sturgeon was born in Whittington, near Carnforth, Lancashire, and apprenticed to a shoemaker.
In 1824 he became Lecturer in Science and Philosophy at the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe, Surrey, and in the following year he exhibited his first electromagnet. He displayed its power by lifting nine pounds with a seven-ounce piece of iron wrapped with wire through which a current from a single battery was sent.

Motor
Modern Electric Motor
Modern Electric Motor

After Faraday had demonstrated his homopolar motor in 1821, physicists were excited to make the electric motor a useful, stronger device. Over the next few years several inventors made magnetic rotating devices including Rev. William Ritchie.

In 1830, Sturgeon produced a vastly improved form of battery – known as the amalgamated zinc battery which had a longer battery life than that produced by Italian innovator Volta.

Sturgeon could now power his strong electro-magnets and making them horse-shoe shape increased the power even more. But the drawback of creating motion with powerful magnets is that the motion is stopped when the poles repell.

And the Commutator

The principle of the Sturgeon Motor
The principle of the Sturgeon Motor


The simplicity of the commutator was ingenious. Keeping this force going in one direction was the clever bit. By flipping the current Sturgeon could make the current reverse every time the wheel met the next magnet. That meant the wheel would keep rotating in the same direction for as long as the current keeps flowing.

In 1832 he was appointed to the lecturing staff of the Adelaide Gallery of Practical Science in London, where he first demonstrated the DC electric motor incorporating a commutator.

Improved Battery

The Volta cell had certain inherent weaknesses - any impurity in the zinc plates used caused erosion of the electrode. Sturgeon developed a long lasting battery that consisted of a single cell cylinder of cast iron into which a cylinder of amalgamated rolled zinc was placed. Discs located between the cast iron cell and the cylinder of zinc prevented contact by the different metals. Dilute sulphuric acid was used to charge the battery.

Galvanometer

He also invented the first suspended coil galvanometer, a device for measuring current.


Sturgeon died in poverty and is buried in an overlooked Prestwich grave, whose stone simply refers to him as "The Electrician".
The emblem of Rule Britannia
In History
  • 16 February 1834.
    This month 190 years ago the world lost Lionel Lukin
  • 14 February 1779.
    This month 245 years ago the world lost Captain Cook
  • 05 February 1790.
    This month 234 years ago the world lost William Cullen
  • 10 February 1868.
    This month 156 years ago the world lost David Brewster
  • 26 February 1884.
    This month 139 years ago the world lost Alexander Wood
  • 10 February 1912.
    This month 112 years ago the world lost Joseph Lister
  • 23 February 1965.
    This month 59 years ago the world lost Stan Laurel
  • 08 February 2017.
    This month 7 years ago the world lost Peter Mansfield
  • 17 February 2011.
    This month 13 years ago the world lost Ron Hickman
  • 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
The emblem of Rule Britannia
Who Invented?
Who Discovered?
Who Created?
The History of..

Tags:Inventor,