Heinrich Ruhmkorff, German inventor

Heinrich Ruhmkorff, German inventor

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heinrich Ruhmkorff (1803-1877). 1867 illustration of the German inventor Heinrich Daniel Ruhmkorff. Ruhmkorff is best known for inventing an early form of induction coil (patented in 1851), and was awarded a large sum of money (50,000 francs) by Napoleon III in 1864 (the Volta Prize: Le Prix Volta). Ruhmkorff was not the first to invent the induction coil (invented by Charles Page in 1834), but Ruhmkorff's success meant that it was often referred to as a Ruhmkorff coil.

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