Feature Post

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber Inventor

In the mid 1830's, it appeared that the rubber industry in the United States was lower. The problem with the new material is that it was unstable - it is completely solid and cracks in the winter and then melt into goo in the summer. Miraculously, the area was saved by the inventor Charles Goodyear - a man without knowledge of chemistry who worked hard to develop and toughness of vulcanized rubber.

After learning of rubber fatal step, Charles Goodyear was determined to invent a way to make the substance more stable. Without a steady job, who lived for years on the progress of investors. When his experiments with rubber consistently failed, Goodyear has reduced his family to poverty, was imprisoned for debt and ridiculed by society as a madman.

Undaunted, the inventor, Charles Goodyear eventually discovered that the uniform heating of sulfur and lead-rubber fortified relatively low temperature, you could melt the rubber durable and reliable. He patented the process in 1844, is licensed to manufacturers and was finally hailed as a genius.

Years after his death, when the age of the cars came, the brothers decided to rename the company of Ohio, the man who made it possible for their product - that's why they were born Goodyear tires.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thomas Alva Edison

His Early Life
Edison was born on 1847 in the canal town of Milan, Ohio, the last of seven children. His mother, Nancy, had been a school teacher; his father, Samuel, was a Canadian political firebrand who was exiled from his country. The family moved to Port Huron, Michigan, when Thomas was seven. He attended school briefly but was principally educated at home by his mother and in his father's library. 

In 1859 Edison began working on a local branch of the Grand Trunk Railroad, selling newspapers, magazines, and candy. At one point he printed a newspaper on the train, and he also conducted chemical experiments in a baggage-car laboratory. By 1862 he had learned enough telegraphy to be employed as an operator in a local office.

From 1863 to 1867 he traveled through the Midwest as an itinerant telegrapher. During these years he read widely, studied and experimented with telegraph technology, and generally acquainted himself with electrical science. 

His Early Inventive Career
In 1868 Edison became an independent inventor in Boston. Moving to New York the next year, he undertook inventive work for major telegraph companies. With money from those contracts he established a series of manufacturing shops in Newark, New Jersey, where he also employed experimental machinists to assist in his inventive work.

Edison soon acquired a reputation as a first-rank inventor. His work included stock tickers, fire alarms, methods of sending simultaneous messages on one wire, and an electrochemical telegraph to send messages by automatic machinery. The crowning achievement of this period was the quadruplex telegraph, which sent two messages simultaneously in each direction on one wire. 

The problems of interfering signals in multiple telegraphy and high speed in automatic transmission forced Edison to extend his study of electromagnetism and chemistry. As a result, he introduced electrical and chemical laboratories into his experimental machine shops.

Near the end of 1875, observations of strange sparks in telegraph instruments led Edison into a public scientific controversy over what he called "etheric force," which only later was understood to be radio waves.

Menlo Park
In 1876, Edison created a freestanding industrial research facility incorporating both a machine shop and laboratories. Here in Menlo Park, on the rail line between New York City and Philadelphia, he developed three of his greatest inventions.

Urged by Western Union to develop a telephone that could compete with Alexander Graham Bell's, Edison invented a transmitter in which a button of compressed carbon changed its resistance as it was vibrated by the sound of the user's voice, a new principle that was used in telephones for the next century.

While working on the telephone in the summer of 1877, Edison discovered a method of recording sound, and in the late fall he unveiled the phonograph. This astounding instrument brought him world fame as the "Wizard of Menlo Park" and the "inventor of the age."
Finally, beginning in the fall of 1878, Edison devoted thirty months to developing a complete system of incandescent electric lighting. During his lamp experiments, he noticed an electrical phenomenon that became known as the "Edison effect," the basis for vacuum-tube electronics.

He left Menlo Park in 1881 to establish factories and offices in New York and elsewhere. Over the next five years he manufactured, improved, and installed his electrical system around the world. 

West Orange Laboratory
In 1887, Edison built an industrial research laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, that remained unsurpassed until the twentieth century. For four years it was the primary research facility for the Edison lighting companies, and Edison spent most of his time on that work. In 1888 and 1889, he concentrated for several months on a new version of the phonograph that recorded on wax cylinders. 

Edison worked with William Dickson from 1888 till 1893 on a motion picture camera. Although Edison had always had experimental assistants, this was the clearest instance of a co-invention for which Edison received sole credit.

In 1887 Edison also returned to experiments on the electromagnetic separation and concentration of low-grade iron and gold ores, work he had begun in 1879. During the 1890's he built a full-scale plant in northern New Jersey to process iron ore. This venture was Edison's most notable commercial failure.

Later Years
After the mining failure, Edison adapted some of the machinery to process Portland cement. A roasting kiln he developed became an industry standard. Edison cement was used for buildings, dams, and even Yankee Stadium.
In the early years of the automobile industry there were hopes for an electric vehicle, and Edison spent the first decade of the twentieth century trying to develop a suitable storage battery. Although gas power won out, Edison's battery was used extensively in industry. 

In World War I the federal government asked Edison to head the Naval Consulting Board, which examined inventions submitted for military use. Edison worked on several problems, including submarine detectors and gun location techniques.

By the time of his death in 1931, Edison had received 1,093 U.S. patents, a total still untouched by any other inventor. Even more important, he created a model for modern industrial research.

Samuel Morse

Samuel Finley Breeze Morse was born on 27th April 1791 in Charlestown, Mass. He was not a scientist - he was a professional artist. Educated at Phillip’s Academy at Andover, he graduated from Yale in 1810 and he lived in England from 1811 to 1815, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1813. He spent the next ten years as an itinerant artist with a particular interest in portraiture. He returned to America in 1832 having been appointed Professor of Painting and Sculpture at the University of the City of New York. It was on this homeward voyage that he overheard a shipboard discussion on electromagnets. This was the seed out of which the electric telegraph grew. Morse is remembered for his Code, still used, and less for the invention that enabled it to be used, probably since landline telegraphy eventually gave way to wireless telegraphy.

The electric telegraph:
From 1837 Morse gave the telegraph his full attention, having set up in partnership with Alfred Vail, Professor Leonard Gail, and congressman F O J Smith. Vail provided funds and facilities at the family ironworks, and Smith legal expertise. There’s an irony, therefore, that disagreements with Vail led to litigation; Vail provided funds for lawyers, too. The telgraph was eventually patented in Morse’s name alone, an event granted by the US Supreme Court in 1854. Morse’s decision to abandon painting was possibly due in part to his failure in 1836 to secure a commission to paint the Rotunda of the Capitol building, a commission he had expected. He did not entirely lose contact with his art, being President of the National Academy of Designfrom 1826 to 1845.
The first message sent by the electric telegraph was "What hath God wrought", from the Supreme Court Room in the Capitol to the railway depot at Baltimore on May 24th 1844. The words were chosen by Annie Ellsworth; in one letter Morse wrote this phrase with ‘God’ capitalised and underlined twice.
In 1847 Morse bought Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and built there an Italianate mansion. This is now a Morse museum, and annually hosts the Poughkeepsie Amateur Radio Society for its Morse Day. In old age Morse became philanthropic.
For his 80th birthday in 1871 a statue was unveiled in Central Park on June 10th, with two thousand telegraphists present. Morse was not, but was that evening at the Academy of Music for an emotional acclamation of his work.
Although most people nowadays would think of Morse code being used for long-distance radiotelegraphy, the land-line telegraph was standard until about 1880 for short-distance metropolitan communication. Over longer distances the telegraph tended to follow the line of the railways because there were no difficulties over rights-of-way. The lines were mostly overhead, since the problems of insulating underground lines proved insuperable for many years - indeed the development of the original line was hampered owing to this problem.
The telegraph of course came to be important for the military, being used first at Varna during the Crimean War in 1854. It was widely used in the American Civil War, where rapid deployment techniques for land-lines were developed; the Spanish-American War found the first use of telegraphy for newspaper correspondents (1898). The first military use for radio telegraphy was during the Russo-Japanes War in 1904 - 5.

Wilhelm Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen / William Conrad Roentgen born on March 27, 1845 was a German physicist of the University of Würzburg. On November 8, 1895, he produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelengt range today known as X-rays or Röntgen Rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. He is also considered the father of Diagnostic Radiology, the medical field in which radiation is used to produce images to diagnose injury and disease.
Despite the fame he achieved for his discovery, Röntgen chose the path of humility. When others wished to name the new radiation after him, he indicated that he preferred the term X-rays. In addition, he declined most honors and speaking engagements that could have heightened his popularity. Rather than use his discovery to pursue personal wealth, he declared that he wanted his research to benefit humanity. Thus, he did not patent his discovery and donated his Nobel Prize money to his university for the advancement of scientific research.

His early life
Röntgen was born in Lennep (now a part of Remscheid), Germany, to a clothmaker. His family moved to Apeldoorn in the Netherlands when he was three years old. He received his early education at the Institute of Martinus Herman van Doorn. He later attended Utrecht Technical School, from which he was expelled for producing a caricature of one of the teachers, a "crime" he claimed not to have committed.
In 1865, he tried to attend the University of Utrecht without having the necessary credentials required for a regular student. Hearing that he could enter the Federal Polytechnic Institute in Zurich by passing its examinations, he began studies there as a student of mechanical enginering. In 1869, he graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Zurich.

His Career
In 1867, Röntgen became a lecturer at Strasbourg University and in 1871 became a professor at the Academy of Agriculture at Hohenheim, Württemberg. In 1876, he returned to Strasbourg as a professor of Physics and in 1879, he was appointed to the Chair of physics at the University of Giessen. In 1888, he obtained the physics chair at the University of Würzburg, and in 1900 at the University of Munich, by special request of the Bavarian government. Röntgen had family in the United State and at one time he planned to emigrate. Although he accepted an appointment at Columbia University in New York City and had actually purchased transatlantic tickets, the outbreak of World War I changed his plans and he remained in Munich for the rest of his career. Röntgen died in 1923 of carcinoma of the bowel. It is thought that his carcinoma was not a result of his work with ionizing radiation because his investigations were for only a short time and he was one of the few pioneers in the field who used protective lead shields routinely.

Discovery of X-rays
During 1895, Röntgen was using equipment developed by his colleagues (reputedly, Ivan Pulyui personally presented one (the 'Pulyui lamp') to Röntgen, but Röntgen went on to be credited as the major developer of the technology), Hertz, Hittorf, Crookes, Tesla, and Lenard to explore the effects of high tension electrical discharges in evacuated glass tubes. By late 1895 these investigators were beginning to explore the properties of cathode rays outside the tubes.
In early November of that year, Röntgen was repeating an experiment with one of Lenard's tubes in which a thin alumunium window had been added to permit the cathode rays to exit the tube but a cardboard covering was added to protect the aluminium from damage by the strong electrostatic field that is necessary to produce the cathode rays. He knew the cardboard covering prevented light from escaping, yet Röntgen observed that the invisible cathode rays caused a fluorescent effect on a small cardboard screen painted with barium platinocyanide when it was placed close to the aluminum window. It occurred to Röntgen that the Hittorf-Crookes tube, which had a much thicker glass wall than the Lenard tube, might also cause this fluorescent effect.
In the late afternoon of November 8, 1895, Röntgen determined to test his idea. He carefully constructed a black cardboard covering similar to the one he had used on the Lenard tube. He covered the Hittorf-Crookes tube with the cardboard and attached electrodes to a Ruhmkorff coil to generate an electrostatic charge. Before setting up the barium platinocyanide screen to test his idea, Röntgen darkened the room to test the opacity of his cardboard cover. As he passed the Ruhmkorff coil charge through the tube, he determined that the cover was light-tight and turned to prepare the next step of the experiment. It was at this point that Röntgen noticed a faint shimmering from a bench a meter away from the tube. To be sure, he tried several more discharges and saw the same shimmering each time. Striking a match, he discovered the shimmering had come from the location of the barium platinocyanide screen he intended to use next.
Röntgen speculated that a new kind of ray might be responsible. November 8 was a Friday, so he took advantage of the weekend to repeat his experiments and make his first notes. In the following weeks he ate and slept in his laboratory as he investigated many properties of the new rays he temporarily termed X-rays, using the mathematical designation for something unknown. Although the new rays would eventually come to bear his name when they became known as Röntgen Rays, he always preferred the term X-rays.
Röntgen's discovery of X-rays was not an accident, nor was he working alone. With the investigations he and his colleagues in various countries were pursuing, the discovery was imminent. In fact, X-rays were produced and a film image recorded at the University of Pennsylvania  two years earlier. However, the investigators did not realize the significance of their discovery and filed their film for further reference, thereby losing the opportunity for recognition of one of the greatest physics discoveries of all time. The idea that Röntgen happened to notice the barium platinocyanide screen misrepresents his investigative powers; he had planned to use the screen in the next step of his experiment and would therefore have made the discovery a few moments later.

Nikolaus Otto

Nikolaus Otto was born in Holzhausen auf der Heide, a small village on the Rhine River in Germany. Although his father, the village postmaster, died soon after Otto was born, his mother raised him well. Young Otto excelled in school, and his mother planned for him to continue with a technical education, but the failed German revolution in 1848 and declining economic conditions made his mother believe that he would be better off as a merchant.

Otto left high school and got a job as a clerk in a grocery store. He soon was working as a clerk in the nearby city of Frankfurt. His older brother Wilhelm owned a textile business in Cologne, and he helped Otto get a job as a sales representative. Otto sold tea, sugar, and kitchenware  to grocery stores along the western border of Germany.

Otto's First Engine
Though he spent a great deal of time travelling between his home in Cologne and the many small towns he served, he still had time to meet and begin a long courtship  with Anna Gossi. Their courtship lasted nine years, due to his travelling and a new interest of Otto, engines. What little we know of his early interest and experiments with engines comes to us from the love letters that Anna received and saved after they married.
While he was traveling as a salesman, Otto first learned about the new gas-powered engine invented by Etienne Lenoir. It was the first workable internal combustion engine. Before that, the energy to run an engine usually came from external combustion, such as in a steam engine. In a steam engine, a fire was used to heat water. The resulting steam was compressed and, upon expanding, pushed a piston, fitted to a cylinder, that transferred the power to a crankshaft. Then steam was directed to the other side of the piston, forcing it back. Thus, every stroke of the piston contributed power.

Although a great advance, the Lenoir engine was never an efficient and practical invention. It used the same principal as a steam engine, except that the piston was moved not by steam pressure, but by the ignation  of a mixture of air and gas. When the mixture was ignited, an explosion and rapid expansion pushed the piston back. But it was noisy, used far too much expensive fuel that needed to be stored or transported in a gaseous state, and produced too much heat. It was initially popular as a replacement for steam engine applications but soon fell from favor.

Otto was sure that the Lenoir engine would be more flexible if it ran on liquid fuel. Although he had been deprived of a technical education, Otto invented acarburator for this engine and worked to improve it in other ways. He tried to patent the carburetor in Prussia in 1861 but was denied a patent. In 1861, Otto built his first gasoline-powered engine.

Partnership with Langen
In 1864, Otto was lucky to meet Eugen Langen. Langen had interests in manufacturing and sugar production and had designed much of the equipment that his businesses owned. He was looking for new interests, and Otto's engine intrigued him. Langen saw that, though imperfect, the engine had possibilities, and agreed to invest in Otto and his engine. Together they formed N.A. Otto and Cie. Langen brought cash to the relationship, Otto brought his expertise. The company began work on improving the engine and building a factory for its manufacture.

Three years later, they had developed a much-improved engine. It bore little resemblance to either the Lenoir engine or to Otto's early prototypes. When they decided to exhibit the engine at the 1867 Paris Exhibition, it was almost a disaster. The French judges at first ignored the engine in favor of more familiar styles. An old school friend of Langen sat on the board of judges, and he convinced the others that efficiency should be part of the decision. When tests showed that the Otto-Langen engine was using less than half the energy that the other engines were using, the machine was awarded the gold medal.

The resulting publicity created a demand for their engine that the partners could not meet. Seeking capital, they entered into a partnership with Ludwig August Roosen-Runge, a businessman from Hamburg. The company became Langen, Otto, and Roosen in March 1869, and its factory moved to the Cologne suburb of Deutz. Roosen-Runge's money helped, but demand still outstripped supply. Langen convinced his brothers and their partners in the sugar business to invest. Their combined investment was more than 13 times what Roosen-Runge had invested, and it enabled a new company, Gasmotoren-Frabrik Deutz AG, to be incorporated in January 1872. Otto, who had never invested money in the business, received no stock in the new company and accepted a long-term employment contract instead.

Langen made one very important hiring decision at Deutz. Gottleib Daimler had trained as a gunsmith before he became an engineer. He had years of experience in factories across Europe, and Langen saw him as the man who could run the new, larger factory. Daimler was appointed technical director to the Deutz works. Daimler brought with him his protege, a young engineer named Wilhelm Maybach. Over the next ten years, Maybach, who would become one of the great engine designers, would work closely with Otto on many projects, including developing the internal combustion engine for use in road vehicles.

The Four-Stroke Engine
Deutz became the premiere engine manufacturer in the world and was soon licensing its design around Europe. In 1876, Otto's newest invention was built, and the internal combustion engine was never the same. Otto knew that the engines based on Lenoir's basic design had reached their limitations. They were noisy, vibrated a lot, and were limited in the amount of power they could produce. He knew that more power and efficiency could be reached if the fuel mixture could be better controlled and compressed. He saw that the way to do this was to use only one piston per chamber and spread the cycle of combustion over four strokes.
In the four strokes of the Otto cycle, the first outward stroke of the piston draws a mixture of air and fuel into the piston through a valve into the cylinder. The second stroke compresses the mixture, preparing it to be ignited. Ignition of the fuel-air mixture causes an explosion, and the rapid expansion of the resulting gases provides the power for the third stroke. On the fourth, inward stroke, the piston forces the exhaust gases out of the cylinder through another valve.

This design went against what was consideredprudent at the time. Most engineers believed that every stroke had to provide power, as in the steam engine. They thought Otto's design would be inefficient if only one stroke out of four provided power. But of greater importance to Otto was the concept of the stratified charge. While watching how smoke left a chimney densely, then spread out into the air, he realized that he could use the same principle within a cylinder to make an engine run cleaner and smoother. Although the four-stroke engine was an immediate success, the stratified-charge theory was disputed and discredited. In this, Otto was a century ahead of his time, for the Honda Motor Company of Japan would find great success with a stratified-charge engine in its automobiles beginning in the 1970s.

The four-stroke engine became known as the Otto engine, and the concept was called the Otto cycle. It was another big success for the Deutz works, and once again the factory fell short of the capacity needed to meet demand. It was the peak of the worldwide Industrial Revolution, and Deutz was able to sell 8,300 Otto engines between 1876 and 1889, more than eleven a week on average.

Patent Fights
The concept of the Otto engine was so advanced that there was little that competing manufacturers could do. Deutz protected its position as the world's sole supplier and licenser of Otto engines, taking any infringement  of Otto's patent to court and protecting the patent against spurious claims. In 1884, Deutz's competitors got a lucky break. An old French pamphlet detailing the concept of the Otto cycle but published before Otto had built his engine was discovered by a lawyer, C. Wigand, a friend of a pair of engine manufacturers from Hannover, Ernst and Berthold Korting. The pamphlet was based on an 1862 patent filed by French engineer Alphonse Beau de Rochas. It did not matter that Beau de Rochas had not built an engine nor that he had let his patent lapse  by failing to pay his annual patent tax. (In many countries, an annual fee is required to maintain a patent.) And Beau de Rochas had never tried to defend his patent, even though the Otto engine was famous, selling in great numbers, and had won a gold medal at the 1878 Paris Exposition. Even so, with the help of Wigand, the Korting took the case to the courts.

Although the case was weak, the atmosphere in Germany was not in Otto's favor. There was no national patent registry, and patents could be held in any or all provinces. Often, one province would grant a patent while another would deny it. So Wigand could choose to fight the patent in the most cooperative province. Some historians speculate that the German government did not want to limit who could hold patents because it wanted to decrease monopolies and spread wealth. Whatever the reason, Otto lost the case. Although more than 30,000 four-stroke engines were built before 1886, and Deutz marketed them with the widely accepted "Otto engine" name, Otto's German patent was revoked. The Kortings were free to manufacture Otto cycle engines. Otto was able to retain his patent in England.

Because they did not see eye-to-eye with Otto, in 1882 Daimler and Maybach left Deutz to set up their own company. Daimler and Maybach were successful with their automotive application in 1889. They placed their engine, an Otto-cycle four-stroke engine, into a horse carriage, producing the first four-wheeled automobile. They set to work improving the vehicle so it could be offered for sale. The first Daimlers were sold in 1890.
Otto died on January 26, 1891 in Cologne, a rich man thanks to the licenses he shared in and the patents he held. The company he and Langen began became one the largest companies manufacturing internal combustion engines: Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz AG. A memorial honoring Otto stands in theforecourt of the neo-baroque Deutz train station in Cologne.

It has often been said that this person or that person "put the world on wheels." Perhaps more than anyone, that is true about Nikolaus Otto. Though only Daimler's name is recognized by most of the world as the maker of the first automobile, historians and those inside the automobile industry recognize the man who was responsible for the ingenuity that gave us the Otto-cycle engine.

Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday did not directly contribute to mathematics so should not really qualify to have his biography in this archive. However he was such a major figure and his science had such a large impact on the work of those developing mathematical theories that it is proper that he is included. We say more about this below. 

Faraday's father, James Faraday, was a blacksmith who came from Yorkshire in the north of England while his mother Margaret Hastwell, also from the north of England, was the daughter of a farmer. Early in 1791 James and Margaret moved to Newington Butts, which was then a village outside London, where James hoped that work was more plentiful. They already had two children, a boy Robert and a girl, before they moved to Newington Butts and Michael was born only a few months after their move.
Work was not easy to find and the family moved again, remaining in or around London. By 1795, when Michael was around five years, the family were living in Jacob's Wells Mews in London. They had rooms over a coachhouse and, by this time, a second daughter had been born. Times were hard particularly since Michael's father had poor health and was not able to provide much for his family. 

The family were held closely together by a strong religious faith, being members of the Sandemanians, a form of the Protestant Church which had split from the Church of Scotland. The Sandemanians believed in the literal truth of the Bible and tried to recreate the sense of love and community which had characterised the early Christian Church. The religious influence was important for Faraday since the theories he developed later in his life were strongly influenced by a belief in a unity of the world. 

Michael attended a day school where he learnt to read, write and count. When Faraday was thirteen years old he had to find work to help the family finances and he was employed running errands for George Riebau who had a bookselling business. In 1805, after a year as an errand-boy, Faraday was taken on by Riebau as an apprentice bookbinder. He spent seven years serving his apprenticeship with Riebau. Not only did he bind books but he also read them.

Faraday himself wrote of this time in his life:
Whilst an apprentice, I loved to read the scientific books which were under my hands ...
From 1810 Faraday attended lectures at John Tatum's house. He attended lectures on many different topics but he was particularly interested in those on electricity, galvanism and mechanics. At Tatum's house he made two special friends, J Huxtable who was a medical student, and Benjamin Abbott who was a clerk. In 1812 Faraday attended lectures by Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution and made careful copies of the notes he had taken. In fact these lectures would become Faraday's passport to a scientific career.
In 1812, intent on improving his literary skills, he carried out a correspondence with Abbott. He had already tried to leave bookbinding and the route he tried was certainly an ambitious one. He had written to Sir Joseph Banks, the President of the Royal Society, asking how he could become involved in scientific work. Perhaps not surprisingly he had received no reply. When his apprenticeship ended in October 1812, Faraday got a job as a bookbinder but still he attempted to get into science and again he took a somewhat ambitious route for a young man with little formal education. He wrote to Humphry Davy, who had been his hero since he attended his chemistry lectures, sending him copies of the notes he had taken at Davy's lectures. Davy, unlike Banks, replied to Faraday and arranged a meeting. He advised Faraday to keep working as a bookbinder, saying:-
Science [is] a harsh mistress, and in a pecuniary point of view but poorly rewarding those who devote themselves to her service.
Shortly after the interview Davy's assistant had to be sacked for fighting and Davy sent for Faraday and invited him to fill the empty post. In 1813 Faraday took up the position at the Royal Institution.
In October 1813 Davy set out on a scientific tour of Europe and he took Faraday with him as his assistant and secretary. Faraday met Ampère and other scientists in Paris. They travelled on towards Italy where they spent time in Genoa, Florence, Rome and Naples. Heading north again they visited Milan where Faraday met Volta. The trip was an important one for Faraday

These eighteen months abroad had taken the place, in Faraday's life, of the years spent at university by other men. He gained a working knowledge of French and Italian; he had added considerably to his scientific attainments, and had met and talked with many of the leading foreign men of science; but, above all, the tour had been what was most valuable to him at that time, a broadening influence.
On his return to London, Faraday was re-engaged at the Royal Institution as an assistant. His work there was mainly involved with chemical experiments in the laboratory. He also began lecturing on chemistry topics at the Philosophical Society. He published his first paper in 1816 on caustic lime from Tuscany.
In 1821 Faraday married Sarah Barnard whom he had met when attending the Sandemanian church. Faraday was made Superintendent of the House and Laboratory at the Royal Institution and given additional rooms to make his marriage possible. 

The year 1821 marked another important time in Faraday's researches. He had worked almost entirely on chemistry topics yet one of his interests from his days as a bookbinder had been electricity. In 1820 several scientists in Paris including Arago and Ampère made significant advances in establishing a relation between electricity and magnetism. Davy became interested and this gave Faraday the opportunity to work on the topic. He published On some new electro-magnetical motions, and on the theory of magnetism in the Quarterly Journal of Science in October 1821. Pearce Williams writes
It records the first conversion of electrical into mechanical energy. It also contained the first notion of the line of force.
It is Faraday's work on electricity which has prompted us to add him to this archive. However we must note that Faraday was in no sense a mathematician and almost all his biographers describe him as "mathematically illiterate". He never learnt any mathematics and his contributions to electricity were purely that of an experimentalist. Why then include him in an archive of mathematicians? Well, it was Faraday's work which led to deep mathematical theories of electricity and magnetism. In particular the remarkable mathematical theories on

James Watt

James Watt was born in 1736 in Greenock, Scotland. James was a thin, weakly child who suffered from migraines and toothaches. He enjoyed mathematics in grammar school, and also learned carpentry from his father. His father was a carpenter by training, and built anything from furniture to ships, but primarily worked in shipbuilding. Watt learned about the navigational aids on ships: quadrants, compasses, telescopes. By his midteens he knew he wanted to become an instrument maker. Watt's father had just lost a substantial investment due to a shipwreck, and he could see the benefits of another occupation, so was supportive of Watt's ambitions. Unfortunately, there were no opportunities for instrument training in Greenock.
In 1754 Watt went to Glasgow, Scotland and became acquainted with Robert Dick through a relative who worked at the University of Glasgow. Robert Dick, a University scientist, was impressed with Watt's basic skills at instrument making, but recognized the need for special training. Dick encouraged Watt to go to London for training. Watt spent two weeks in London looking for an apprenticeship opportunity. However the instrument makers protected their trade by rules of a body known as the Worshipful Company of Clock-makers. The only employment was for fully-trained instrument makers or trainees serving seven-year apprenticeships!
John Morgan, an instrument maker in the heart of London, did not always follow the rules, and agreed to take Watt as an apprentice on the conditions of little pay! Morgan recognized the capabilities of Watt, and agreed to shorten the apprenticeship to a period of one year. Watt took the offer in 1755. Within two months, Watt's abilities surpassed those of Morgan's official apprentice, who had been there two years. Watt was eager to cram several years of training into one, and worked 10 hour days in the cold workshop. After hours, he worked for a small amount of cash, and his father sent him a little, but he maintained long hours on little food, and his health declined. During this time, Britain was at war with France, and the military would force into service any able-bodied man. Watt avoided the streets for this reason, which may have affected his health further. Watt finished his apprenticeship year successfully, but his health collapsed almost immediately afterwards.
Watt returned to Glasgow in 1756, now a trained instrument maker. His University of Glasgow acquaintances learned of his return, and gave him some work. Watt set up his shop, but found that other instrument makers shunned his credentials and training. He was an outsider in Glasgow, after being trained in London. The University professors recognized his abilities, and did not need to abide by the traditions of the instrument makers. They arranged for permission to set up a shop for Watt on University grounds and created the position "Mathematical Instrument Maker to the University".
Even with the new position, Watt still had trouble finding enough work since the other instrument makers were somewhat hostile. He started making musical instruments to avoid competition. His musical instruments were improvements over existing models and business began to grow. In 1758, an architect gave him backing to open a new shop in the heart of Glasgow. His business and reputation grew steadily and by 1763 he had apprentices of his own, but he was not out of debt.

The job that make revolution
Watt always had work from the University scientists, so he maintained through the years his shop on the University property. Professor John Anderson was the older brother of a grammar school companion, Andrew. One day in 1763, Professor John Anderson brought Watt a new problem. The University had a lab-scale model of the Newcomen pump to investigate why the full-scale pumps required so much steam. The model suffered a problem. It would stall after a few strokes. Watt recognized that the flaw was due to an undersized boiler that couldn't provide enough steam to reheat the cylinder after a few strokes.
During troubleshooting of the lab-scale model, Watt discovered the main reason the full-sized engines consumed such vast quantities of steam. However, implementation of the solution did not come easily. The Newcomen pumps required such vast quantities of steam since they were cooled during every stroke, then reheated. Watt needed a way to condense the steam without cooling the cylinder. Watt turned over the problem in his head for months and performed many experiments. He learned much about steam properties, and independently discovered latent heat of vaporization in his experiments. He also tabulated the vapor pressure of water at various temperatures before the work of Clapeyron. One of his University friends was Professor Black, who had discovered latent heat previously and had been lecturing on it without Watt's knowledge. They shared many interesting conversations after Watt told Professor Black of his "discovery". The concept for the breakthrough to improve the Newcomen engine came in May of 1765, over two years after Watt began to study the engine. Watt later described the moment of inspiration:
"I had gone to take a walk on a fine Sabbath afternoon, early in 1765. I had entered the green by the gate at the foot of Charlotte Street and had passed the old washing-house. I was thinking upon the engine at the time, and had gone as far as the herd's house, when the idea came into my mind that as steam was an elastic body it would rush into a vacuum, and if a communication were made between the cylinder and an exhausted vessel it would rush into it, and might be there condensed without cooling the cylinder. I then saw that I must get rid of the condensed steam and injection-water if I used a jet as in Newcomen's engine. Two ways of doing this occurred to me. First, the water might be run off by a descending pipe, if an offlet could be got at the depth of thirty-five or thirty-six feet, and any air might be extracted by a small pump. The second was to make the pump large enough to extract both water and air. . . . I had not walked farther than the golf-house when the whole thing was arranged in my mind."
With a separate condenser, the condensation process could take place constantly and the steam cylinder could be pulled to a vacuum while remaining hot. The vapor would rush into the condenser.
Watt would not work on the Sunday, as was the custom of the day. He controlled his impatience, but first thing Monday morning he was in his shop. He crafted a makeshift piston and condenser using a brass syringe. He filled the syringe with steam. He pumped the air out of his makeshift condenser, and cooled it. It worked!
Watt was 29 in 1765 when he discovered his idea would work. Yet it would be 11 years before he saw his invention in practice! He was modest, goodhearted, and shy. He once wrote to his business partner, Boulton, many years later, "I would rather face a loaded cannon than settle a disputed account or make a bargain." He also understood the significance of his development. "I can think of nothing but this engine", he said.

The waiting
Watt's University friends introduced him to John Roebuck, a industrialist who held leases on coal deposits. Roebuck agreed to back the development of a full-scale engine after he saw the model work. Watt devoted much time to troubleshooting and developing a full-scale model. Roebuck did not employ machinists with the experience that Watt's project required. Watt himself was a first rate instrument maker, but he was ill-suited to manage the work crew to operate the pump. Over the next four years, Watt was consumed with making an engine work. The experiments were slow and costly. The greatest difficulty was maintaining the seal on the large piston. In the Newcomen engine, the piston and cylinder were made up cast iron, and the fit was of very poor quality. However, since the entire cylinder was to be cooled, the piston was sealed by maintaining water on top of the piston in the open cylinder. Any leakage in the Newcomen engine simply sucked some water into the cylinder without defeating the driving force for the movement. Such a solution was unacceptable with Watt's design where the piston was to be maintained hot.
Although a full-scale working engine was constructed at Roebuck's coal mine, the effort was taxing on energy as well as finances. Andrew Carnegie writes in his biography of Watt:
The monster new engine, upon which so much depended, was ready for trial at last in September, 1769. About six months had been spent in its construction. Its success was indifferent. Watt had declared it to be a "clumsy job." The new pipe-condenser did not work well, the cylinder was almost useless, having been badly cast, and the old difficulty in keeping the piston-packing tight remained. Many things were tried for packing-cork, oiled rags, old hats (felt probably), paper, horse dung, etc., etc. Still the steam escaped, even after a thorough overhauling. The second experiment also failed. So great is the gap between the small toy model and the practical work-performing giant, a rock upon which many sanguine theoretical inventors have been wrecked! Had Watt been one of that class, he could never have succeeded. Here we have another proof of the soundness of the contention that Watt, the mechanic, was almost as important as Watt the inventor. (Carnegie, Andrew James Watt, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, May, 1905.)
Roebuck was supportive of Watt and encouraged him to keep working on the pump. Watt was able to get a large engine to work well enough to apply for a patent, and Roebuck financed the engine patent that was granted in 1769. In exchange, Roebuck agreed to pay off all of Watt debts for his instrument shops but would take two-thirds of the money the invention made. Watt found this agreement acceptable because the large experiments were slow and costly. The invention was far from being ready for production. Then, Roebuck did another thing that helped Watt. He indirectly introduced Watt to Matthew Boulton of Birmingham, England. This last introduction was the one that helped the invention create the steam engine revolution -- but the revolution didn't come easily or fast!
Boulton recognized that the engine had potential applications for much more than pumping water! Boulton was an industrialist with an extraordinary vision to have all craftsmen work in a common building -- a "manufactory" (later shorted to "factory"). Previously, craftsmen had all maintained individual shops. Further, Boulton had the desire to furnish the manufactory with the best equipment and finest craftsmen. Boulton was certain that he could sell the engine.
Unfortunately, Boulton could not work out a deal with Roebuck who had majority control of the patent. Disheartened and in need of cash himself, Watt left the instrument making business in 1771, and took up surveying. In March 1773, Roebuck was in desperate need of cash. Boulton acquired Roebuck's rights to the engine in 1773, four years after the engine was patented, and nine years after Watt first discovered the separate condenser. Boulton was convinced the problems could be solved.

A Perfect Partnership
Boulton and Watt's personalities complemented each other and they got along well. Boulton's assembly of accomplished craftsmen provided the much-needed expertise that Watt had lacked in his collaboration with Roebuck. As soon as Watt finished his obligations for surveying, he moved to Birmingham to join Boulton's shop. Watt maintained work on the engine as well as other tasks. In November, 1774 he wrote to his father,
"The business I am here about has turned out rather successful; that is to say, the fire engine I have invented is now going, and answers much better than any other that has yet been made."
His letter was a modest statement of his true enthusiasm, for his concepts were developing into a fantastic engine. Boulton's desire to hire the best craftsmen had enabled the success.

Success at Last
In March 1776 the Bentley Mining Company started their newest piece of equipment, a Boulton-Watt engine. The Bentley Mining Company had taken a substantial risk by abandoning a half-built Newcomen engine and replacing it with the Boulton-Watt engine. The day the engine started a newspaper reporter was present:
"From the first Moment of its setting to Work, it made about 14 to 15 Strokes per Minute, and emptied the Engine Pit (which is about 90 Feet deep and stood 57 Feet high in Water) in less than an hour". From "Aris's Birmingham Gazette, March 11, 1776.
(Technical note: water can be drawn by suction less than 33 feet, so the pumps were placed within that distance of the bottom.)
This Bentley Mining Company engine used a cylinder crafted by the best ironmaster in Britain, John Wilkinson, who had recently developed a technique for boring cylinders (cannons) and had adopted the technique to the steam cylinder of the Boulton-Watt engine. The valves, piping, and fittings were manufactured at the Soho Manufactory - a factory 2 miles from Birmingham partnered by Boulton and Watt. The new engine used 1/4 of the steam that the Newcomen engines had required! 
The new Boulton-Watt engine was a great success. Watt became very busy maintaining business at Cornwall mines and setting up new pumps for the mines in the Cornwall region. 

More than Pumps
Boulton recognized the potential of the device for doing much more than pumping water. He also recognized the limited market for the device to drive pumps. In June 1781 he wrote to Watt:
"The people in London, Manchester and Birmingham are steam mill mad. I don't mean to hurry you, but I think in the course of a month or two, we should determine to take out a patent for certain methods of producing rotative motion…There is no other Cornwall to be found, and the most likely line for the consumption of our engines is the application of them to mills which is certainly an extensive field" (Sproule, Ann James Watt, Exley Publications, Herts, UK, 1992)
Watt answered this call, too. At age 45, Watt developed his next great invention -- a method to convert reciprocating motion of the piston to rotating motion. The invention was the sun and planet gear system. This invention was better than a crankshaft which was already patented (an idea Watt said was stolen from him). The sun and planet gear system permitted the rotative wheel to turn more than once per stroke of the piston! Since the piston moved slowly, this was an major improvement! An engine patented in 1782 by Boulton and Watt had another major improvement -- the steam cylinder used valves above and below the piston to connect independently to the boiler or the condenser; the piston performed work on both the upward and downward stroke! This evened out the stroking of the piston, performing equal work on each movement. Watt had another great improvement on this engine. He had devised a mechanism to match the rocking motion of the beam (which traces an arc) with the linear motion of the piston. This was known as the "parallel motion" device, and was necessary to enable the piston to push the beam on the upward stroke; the chains used in the previous single-acting engines didn't transfer work on the upward stroke. He once told his son that this was the invention of which he was most proud.
In 1782 a sawmill ordered an engine that was to replace 12 horses. Watt used data from a sawmill to determine that a horse could lift 33,000 pounds the distance of one foot in one minute -- and thus developed the units of hp.
Other major contributions developed by Watt include the steam throttling valve and the mechanism to connect the throttle to the engine governor. Used together, these devices regulated steam flow into the piston and kept a constant engine speed.
By 1800, 84 British cotton mills used Boulton and Watt engines. So did wool mills and flour mills! In his later years, Watt enjoyed the success and fame he deserved.
Today, it is appropriate to recognize Watt's contributions when we used the British (and American Engineering) units for power, hp, and the SI units for power, the Watt.
Author's note: I have found minor variations in the wording of quotes attributed to Watt by the various biographers, but for all the citations given here, the meaning is identical. The wording given here was provided by one of the biographers.

Guglielmo Marconi

His Early Life
Guglielmo Marconi was born on April 25, 1874 at Bologna, Italy. He was the second son of Giuseppe Marconi, an Italian country gentleman and Annie Jameson daughter of Andrew Jameson of Daphne Castle, Wexford, Ireland. He was educated privately at Bologna and Florence. As a young boy he showed keen interest in physics. He studied the works of the major physicists including Maxwell, Hertz, Rigghi and others. He studied at the Technical Institute in Leghorn where he studied physics. In Bologna his neighbour the distinguished physicist Professor Rigghi made him interested in electricity generally and specifically in Hertz’s work on transmitting wireless signals. Thus Marconi became intent on discovering a method of wireless telegraphy.

Early experiments
In 1894 when Marconi began his experiments radio waves were called Hertzian waves.
In 1895 he began his early experiments at his father’s country estates in Pontecchio. He began by building equipment and transmitting electrical signals through the air from one end of the house to the other end. He then sent them from the house to the garden. Finally he succeeded in sending wireless signals over a distance of one and a half miles. These experiments ushered in the dawn of wireless telegraphy or radio. Although he tried to get the Italian Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs interested in his work he did not receive much encouragement for his invention in Italy.
In 1896 with the encouragement of his cousin Henry Jameson Davis he took his apparatus to England and showed it to Mr. William Preece, Engineer-in-chief of the British Post Office. Later that year he was granted the world’s first patent for a system of wireless telegraphy. He was able to demonstrate his wireless system successfully in London, on the Salisbury plain and across the Bristol Channel.
In July 1897 he formed the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company Limited based in London. In 1898 it opened the first wireless factory in Chelmsford England employing around fifty workers. In 1900 it was renamed as Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company Limited. This Company still bears his name. In the same year at Spezia he showed the Italian government that he could send wireless signals over a distance of twelve miles.
In 1899 he established a wireless link between Britain and France across the English Channel. He established permanent wireless stations at The Needles, Isle of Wight, Bournemouth, and later at the Haven Hotel in Poole, Dorset.
In 1900 he obtained his famous patent 7777 for “tuned or systonic telegraphy”. In December 1901 he proved that wireless signals were not affected by the curvature of the earth. He transmitted the first wireless signals across the Atlantic between Poldhu, Cornwall and St, Johns, New Foundland, a distance of 2100 miles.
In 1902 he demonstrated “daylight effect” relative to wireless communication. In the same year he patented his magnetic detector, which was the standard wireless receiver for many years. In the same year in December he also transmitted the first complete message to Poldhu from stations at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia and Cape Cod Massachusetts.
By 1903 the Marconi Company was carrying out regular transatlantic news transmissions.
In 1907 the first commercial transatlantic wireless service was established between Glace Bay and Clifdon, Ireland. Earlier a shorter distance public service of wireless telegraphy had been set up between Bari, Italy and Avidari, Montenegro.
In 1905 he patented his horizontal directional aerial. In 1912 he patented a “timed spark” system for generating continuous waves.
Queen Victoria at Osborne House had also received bulletins by radio when the Prince of Wales was convalescing on the Royal Yacht off Cowes.

Nobel Prize
In 1907 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics along with Professor Karl Ferdinand Braun. They were jointly awarded the prize for their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy.

Other honours
He was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. He was awarded John Fritz medal and the Kelvin Medal. The Tsar of Russia decorated him with the order of St. Anne. The King of Italy created him the Commander of the Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus. In 1902 he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown of Italy. In 1903 he received the freedom of the City of Rome. In 1905 he was made Chevalier of the Civil Order of Savoy. In 1914 he was made Senator in the Italian Senate. In the same year he was appointed Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in England. In 1929 he received the hereditary title of Marchese (Marquis).
He also received many honorary degrees and honours from various international universities and organizations.
He has been ranked among the top fifty in a list of influential figures in history.
The International Airport in Bologna, Italy has been named as the Bologna Guglielmo Marconi International Airport in his honour.
The town Copiague in New York State was once named Marconiville after Guglielmo Marconi. In Copiague on the Great Neck Road there is an old gate standing, which still reads “Marconiville”.

Personal life
In 1905 he married the Honorary Beatrice O’ Brien, daughter of Edward Donough O’ Brien, the fourteenth Baron Inchiquin. They had one son and two daughters. In 1827 this marriage was annulled. In the same year he married Countess Maria Cristina Bezi-Scali of Rome. They had a daughter.
His favourite pastimes were hunting, cycling and motoring.

War service
In 1914 he joined the Italian Army as a Lieutenant and he was later promoted to Captain. In 1916 he became a Commander in the Navy. In 1917 he was a member of the Italian Government Mission to the United States of America. In 1919 he was appointed Italian plenipotentiary delegate to the Paris peace Conference. In 1919 he was awarded the Italian Military Medal in recognition of his war service. During World War I he was in charge of the Italian wireless service. This was the period when he began developing short wave communication transmissions.

Later experiments
In 1920 the first official public broadcasts in the UK took place from Marconi’s Chelmsford factory. It included a broadcast featuring Dame Nellie Melba.
In 1922 the world’s first regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment also began from the Marconi Research Centre at Writtle near Chelmsford. He had achieved his aim of making Hertz’s laboratory demonstration into a practical and commercial means of communication.
In 1923 he conducted a series of experiments on short waves between experimental stations in Poldhu and in Marconi’s yacht “Elettra” cruising in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. This led to the development of the beam system for long distance communication. In 1926 the British Government accepted this method of communication and the first beam station linking Britain and Canada was opened.
In 1931 Marconi started researching on waves of still shorter wavelengths than radio waves. In 1932 he established the world’s first microwave radio telephone link between the Vatican City and the Pope’s summer residence at Castle Gandalfo. In 1934 he demonstrated his microwave radio beacon for ship navigation at Sestri Levante.
In Italy in 1935 he gave a practical demonstration of radar. In 1922 he had already foretold the discovery of radar in a lecture at the American Institute of Radio Engineers in New York.

Links with the Fascist Party
In 1923 Marconi joined the Italian Fascist Party. Benito Mussolini then made him the President of the Accademia d’ Italia. He also became a member of the Fascist Grand Council. He made fascist speeches on the radio in many countries.