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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 3 1 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Electricity. (search)
for a divisible electric light. He went to England to complete and prove the utility of his invention. There George Peabody, the American banker, offered him all the money he might need, in case his experiment should be successful. It proved so at an exhibition of it at Manchester before scientific men. Professor Incandescent lamp. Faraday pronounced it perfect. Starr was so excited by his success that he died that night, and nothing more was done with the invention. In 1859 Prof. Moses G. Farmer (q. v.) lighted a parlor at Salem, Mass., by an electric lamp, but the cost of producing it, by means of a galvanic battery in the cellar, was so great that the use of it was abandoned. These were the pioneers in our country. Now the generation of electricity by dynamos, magnets, etc., produces brilliant light at less cost than by illuminating gas. It is used so extensively in cities for various purposes that it has created a new phrase in our vocabulary— Industrial electricity. F
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Farmer, Moses Gerrish 1820-1893 (search)
Farmer, Moses Gerrish 1820-1893 Electrician; born in Boscawen, N. H., Feb. 9, 1820; graduated at Dartmouth College in 1844; taught in Elliot, Me., and in Dover, N. H., for two years. During his leisure hours while in Dover he invented several forms of electro-motors, one of which he used in his experimental workshop to drive a vertical lathe, and the other was used on a miniature railway. Both motors were originally designed to illustrate his lectures. He demonstrated that the electrical current could be used for discharging torpedoes and in submarine blasting. On his miniature railway he transported by electricity the first passengers ever so carried in the United States. In 1847 he moved to Framingham, Mass., and invented the telegraph fire-alarm. In 1865 he invented a thermo-electric battery and also built the first dynamo machine. In 1880 he patented an automatic electric-light system. Besides these inventions he brought to light and perfected many others. He is consi