SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Zenobe Gramme (1826-1901), Belgian electrical engineer in his workshop. Gramme was interested in improving the efficiency of electrical devices. In 1710 he demonstrated the Gramme machine, a continuous-current generator that produced large currents in relation to its size. At an exhibition in Vienna, Austria, a technician wired a series of such machines together incorrectly, so that the wires from one which was running were joined to one which was not. To the amazement of the onlookers, the second machine began to turn: the Gramme machine could act as both a generator and a motor. This allowed the possibility for work to be transferred large distances via electricity. Taken from Physique Populaire, 1891.
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