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Power StrugglesScientific Authority and the Creation of Practical Electricity Before Edison$
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Michael Brian Schiffer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262195829

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262195829.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 October 2021

An American Physicist

An American Physicist

(p.31) 4 An American Physicist
Power Struggles

Michael Brian Schiffer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the important works of Joseph Henry, and other inventors and researchers, in the field of electromagnetism. Like Benjamin Franklin, Henry was a man of humble origins. Henry created an electromagnet with several coils of copper wire around an iron core (horseshoe). To prevent short-circuit in the wires wound in coils, Henry wound silk thread around the wires to provide insulation. He earned fame by creating both the biggest and the smallest electromagnets available at that time. In 1820, Gerard Moll, a Dutch researcher, also created a powerful electromagnet and published his findings in a European journal. Based on Henry’s concept of electromagnetism, Henry and Phillip Ten Eyck created an electromagnet of gigantic proportions, widely known as the “Yale magnet,” which suspended 2,063 pounds of weight with a galvanic cell. Henry also created an electric motor-like apparatus.

Keywords:   Joseph Henry, electromagnetism, Gerard Moll, Phillip Ten Eyck, electromagnet, Yale magnet, galvanic cell

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