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Alexander Bain

  • 1 Bain, Alexander

    b. October 1810 Watten, Scotland
    d. 2 January 1877 Kirkintilloch, Scotland
    Scottish inventor and entrepreneur who laid the foundations of electrical horology and designed an electromagnetic means of transmitting images (facsimile).
    Alexander Bain was born into a crofting family in a remote part of Scotland. He was apprenticed to a watchmaker in Wick and during that time he was strongly influenced by a lecture on "Heat, sound and electricity" that he heard in nearby Thurso. This lecture induced him to take up a position in Clerkenwell in London, working as a journeyman clockmaker, where he was able to further his knowledge of electricity by attending lectures at the Adelaide Gallery and the Polytechnic Institution. His thoughts naturally turned to the application of electricity to clockmaking, and despite a bitter dispute with Charles Wheatstone over priority he was granted the first British patent for an electric clock. This patent, taken out on 11 January 1841, described a mechanism for an electric clock, in which an oscillating component of the clock operated a mechanical switch that initiated an electromagnetic pulse to maintain the regular, periodic motion. This principle was used in his master clock, produced in 1845. On 12 December of the same year, he patented a means of using electricity to control the operation of steam railway engines via a steam-valve. His earliest patent was particularly far-sighted and anticipated most of the developments in electrical horology that occurred during the nineteenth century. He proposed the use of electricity not only to drive clocks but also to distribute time over a distance by correcting the hands of mechanical clocks, synchronizing pendulums and using slave dials (here he was anticipated by Steinheil). However, he was less successful in putting these ideas into practice, and his electric clocks proved to be unreliable. Early electric clocks had two weaknesses: the battery; and the switching mechanism that fed the current to the electromagnets. Bain's earth battery, patented in 1843, overcame the first defect by providing a reasonably constant current to drive his clocks, but unlike Hipp he failed to produce a reliable switch.
    The application of Bain's numerous patents for electric telegraphy was more successful, and he derived most of his income from these. They included a patent of 12 December 1843 for a form of fax machine, a chemical telegraph that could be used for the transmission of text and of images (facsimile). At the receiver, signals were passed through a moving band of paper impregnated with a solution of ammonium nitrate and potassium ferrocyanide. For text, Morse code signals were used, and because the system could respond to signals faster than those generated by hand, perforated paper tape was used to transmit the messages; in a trial between Paris and Lille, 282 words were transmitted in less than one minute. In 1865 the Abbé Caselli, a French engineer, introduced a commercial fax service between Paris and Lyons, based on Bain's device. Bain also used the idea of perforated tape to operate musical wind instruments automatically. Bain squandered a great deal of money on litigation, initially with Wheatstone and then with Morse in the USA. Although his inventions were acknowledged, Bain appears to have received no honours, but when towards the end of his life he fell upon hard times, influential persons in 1873 secured for him a Civil List Pension of £80 per annum and the Royal Society gave him £150.
    1841, British patent no. 8,783; 1843, British patent no. 9,745; 1845, British patent no.
    10,838; 1847, British patent no. 11,584; 1852, British patent no. 14,146 (all for electric clocks).
    1852, A Short History of the Electric Clocks with Explanation of Their Principles and
    Mechanism and Instruction for Their Management and Regulation, London; reprinted 1973, introd. W.Hackmann, London: Turner \& Devereux (as the title implies, this pamphlet was probably intended for the purchasers of his clocks).
    Further Reading
    The best account of Bain's life and work is in papers by C.A.Aked in Antiquarian Horology: "Electricity, magnetism and clocks" (1971) 7: 398–415; "Alexander Bain, the father of electrical horology" (1974) 9:51–63; "An early electric turret clock" (1975) 7:428–42. These papers were reprinted together (1976) in A Conspectus of Electrical Timekeeping, Monograph No. 12, Antiquarian Horological Society: Tilehurst.
    J.Finlaison, 1834, An Account of Some Remarkable Applications of the Electric Fluid to the Useful Arts by Alexander Bain, London (a contemporary account between Wheatstone and Bain over the invention of the electric clock).
    J.Munro, 1891, Heroes of the Telegraph, Religious Tract Society.
    J.Malster \& M.J.Bowden, 1976, "Facsimile. A Review", Radio \&Electronic Engineer 46:55.
    D.J.Weaver, 1982, Electrical Clocks and Watches, Newnes.
    T.Hunkin, 1993, "Just give me the fax", New Scientist (13 February):33–7 (provides details of Bain's and later fax devices).
    DV / KF

    Biographical history of technology > Bain, Alexander

  • 2 Edison, Thomas Alva

    b. 11 February 1847 Milan, Ohio, USA
    d. 18 October 1931 Glenmont
    American inventor and pioneer electrical developer.
    He was the son of Samuel Edison, who was in the timber business. His schooling was delayed due to scarlet fever until 1855, when he was 8½ years old, but he was an avid reader. By the age of 14 he had a job as a newsboy on the railway from Port Huron to Detroit, a distance of sixty-three miles (101 km). He worked a fourteen-hour day with a stopover of five hours, which he spent in the Detroit Free Library. He also sold sweets on the train and, later, fruit and vegetables, and was soon making a profit of $20 a week. He then started two stores in Port Huron and used a spare freight car as a laboratory. He added a hand-printing press to produce 400 copies weekly of The Grand Trunk Herald, most of which he compiled and edited himself. He set himself to learn telegraphy from the station agent at Mount Clements, whose son he had saved from being run over by a freight car.
    At the age of 16 he became a telegraphist at Port Huron. In 1863 he became railway telegraphist at the busy Stratford Junction of the Grand Trunk Railroad, arranging a clock with a notched wheel to give the hourly signal which was to prove that he was awake and at his post! He left hurriedly after failing to hold a train which was nearly involved in a head-on collision. He usually worked the night shift, allowing himself time for experiments during the day. His first invention was an arrangement of two Morse registers so that a high-speed input could be decoded at a slower speed. Moving from place to place he held many positions as a telegraphist. In Boston he invented an automatic vote recorder for Congress and patented it, but the idea was rejected. This was the first of a total of 1180 patents that he was to take out during his lifetime. After six years he resigned from the Western Union Company to devote all his time to invention, his next idea being an improved ticker-tape machine for stockbrokers. He developed a duplex telegraphy system, but this was turned down by the Western Union Company. He then moved to New York.
    Edison found accommodation in the battery room of Law's Gold Reporting Company, sleeping in the cellar, and there his repair of a broken transmitter marked him as someone of special talents. His superior soon resigned, and he was promoted with a salary of $300 a month. Western Union paid him $40,000 for the sole rights on future improvements on the duplex telegraph, and he moved to Ward Street, Newark, New Jersey, where he employed a gathering of specialist engineers. Within a year, he married one of his employees, Mary Stilwell, when she was only 16: a daughter, Marion, was born in 1872, and two sons, Thomas and William, in 1876 and 1879, respectively.
    He continued to work on the automatic telegraph, a device to send out messages faster than they could be tapped out by hand: that is, over fifty words per minute or so. An earlier machine by Alexander Bain worked at up to 400 words per minute, but was not good over long distances. Edison agreed to work on improving this feature of Bain's machine for the Automatic Telegraph Company (ATC) for $40,000. He improved it to a working speed of 500 words per minute and ran a test between Washington and New York. Hoping to sell their equipment to the Post Office in Britain, ATC sent Edison to England in 1873 to negotiate. A 500-word message was to be sent from Liverpool to London every half-hour for six hours, followed by tests on 2,200 miles (3,540 km) of cable at Greenwich. Only confused results were obtained due to induction in the cable, which lay coiled in a water tank. Edison returned to New York, where he worked on his quadruplex telegraph system, tests of which proved a success between New York and Albany in December 1874. Unfortunately, simultaneous negotiation with Western Union and ATC resulted in a lawsuit.
    Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for a telephone in March 1876 while Edison was still working on the same idea. His improvements allowed the device to operate over a distance of hundreds of miles instead of only a few miles. Tests were carried out over the 106 miles (170 km) between New York and Philadelphia. Edison applied for a patent on the carbon-button transmitter in April 1877, Western Union agreeing to pay him $6,000 a year for the seventeen-year duration of the patent. In these years he was also working on the development of the electric lamp and on a duplicating machine which would make up to 3,000 copies from a stencil. In 1876–7 he moved from Newark to Menlo Park, twenty-four miles (39 km) from New York on the Pennsylvania Railway, near Elizabeth. He had bought a house there around which he built the premises that would become his "inventions factory". It was there that he began the use of his 200- page pocket notebooks, each of which lasted him about two weeks, so prolific were his ideas. When he died he left 3,400 of them filled with notes and sketches.
    Late in 1877 he applied for a patent for a phonograph which was granted on 19 February 1878, and by the end of the year he had formed a company to manufacture this totally new product. At the time, Edison saw the device primarily as a business aid rather than for entertainment, rather as a dictating machine. In August 1878 he was granted a British patent. In July 1878 he tried to measure the heat from the solar corona at a solar eclipse viewed from Rawlins, Wyoming, but his "tasimeter" was too sensitive.
    Probably his greatest achievement was "The Subdivision of the Electric Light" or the "glow bulb". He tried many materials for the filament before settling on carbon. He gave a demonstration of electric light by lighting up Menlo Park and inviting the public. Edison was, of course, faced with the problem of inventing and producing all the ancillaries which go to make up the electrical system of generation and distribution-meters, fuses, insulation, switches, cabling—even generators had to be designed and built; everything was new. He started a number of manufacturing companies to produce the various components needed.
    In 1881 he built the world's largest generator, which weighed 27 tons, to light 1,200 lamps at the Paris Exhibition. It was later moved to England to be used in the world's first central power station with steam engine drive at Holborn Viaduct, London. In September 1882 he started up his Pearl Street Generating Station in New York, which led to a worldwide increase in the application of electric power, particularly for lighting. At the same time as these developments, he built a 1,300yd (1,190m) electric railway at Menlo Park.
    On 9 August 1884 his wife died of typhoid. Using his telegraphic skills, he proposed to 19-year-old Mina Miller in Morse code while in the company of others on a train. He married her in February 1885 before buying a new house and estate at West Orange, New Jersey, building a new laboratory not far away in the Orange Valley.
    Edison used direct current which was limited to around 250 volts. Alternating current was largely developed by George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla, using transformers to step up the current to a higher voltage for long-distance transmission. The use of AC gradually overtook the Edison DC system.
    In autumn 1888 he patented a form of cinephotography, the kinetoscope, obtaining film-stock from George Eastman. In 1893 he set up the first film studio, which was pivoted so as to catch the sun, with a hinged roof which could be raised. In 1894 kinetoscope parlours with "peep shows" were starting up in cities all over America. Competition came from the Latham Brothers with a screen-projection machine, which Edison answered with his "Vitascope", shown in New York in 1896. This showed pictures with accompanying sound, but there was some difficulty with synchronization. Edison also experimented with captions at this early date.
    In 1880 he filed a patent for a magnetic ore separator, the first of nearly sixty. He bought up deposits of low-grade iron ore which had been developed in the north of New Jersey. The process was a commercial success until the discovery of iron-rich ore in Minnesota rendered it uneconomic and uncompetitive. In 1898 cement rock was discovered in New Village, west of West Orange. Edison bought the land and started cement manufacture, using kilns twice the normal length and using half as much fuel to heat them as the normal type of kiln. In 1893 he met Henry Ford, who was building his second car, at an Edison convention. This started him on the development of a battery for an electric car on which he made over 9,000 experiments. In 1903 he sold his patent for wireless telegraphy "for a song" to Guglielmo Marconi.
    In 1910 Edison designed a prefabricated concrete house. In December 1914 fire destroyed three-quarters of the West Orange plant, but it was at once rebuilt, and with the threat of war Edison started to set up his own plants for making all the chemicals that he had previously been buying from Europe, such as carbolic acid, phenol, benzol, aniline dyes, etc. He was appointed President of the Navy Consulting Board, for whom, he said, he made some forty-five inventions, "but they were pigeonholed, every one of them". Thus did Edison find that the Navy did not take kindly to civilian interference.
    In 1927 he started the Edison Botanic Research Company, founded with similar investment from Ford and Firestone with the object of finding a substitute for overseas-produced rubber. In the first year he tested no fewer than 3,327 possible plants, in the second year, over 1,400, eventually developing a variety of Golden Rod which grew to 14 ft (4.3 m) in height. However, all this effort and money was wasted, due to the discovery of synthetic rubber.
    In October 1929 he was present at Henry Ford's opening of his Dearborn Museum to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the incandescent lamp, including a replica of the Menlo Park laboratory. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and was elected to the American Academy of Sciences. He died in 1931 at his home, Glenmont; throughout the USA, lights were dimmed temporarily on the day of his funeral.
    Principal Honours and Distinctions
    Member of the American Academy of Sciences. Congressional Gold Medal.
    Further Reading
    M.Josephson, 1951, Edison, Eyre \& Spottiswode.
    R.W.Clark, 1977, Edison, the Man who Made the Future, Macdonald \& Jane.

    Biographical history of technology > Edison, Thomas Alva

  • 3 Alexander

    Alexander - Александр

    Англо-русский словарь Мюллера > Alexander

  • 4 Alexander

    Alexander noun Александр

    Англо-русский словарь Мюллера > Alexander

  • 5 Bain Index

    эк. индекс Бейна (отражает экономическую прибыль фирмы, рассчитывается путем вычитания из валовой выручки расходов, обесценения капитала и альтернативной стоимости инвестиций; при совершенной конкуренции на рынке индекс Бейна должен быть нулевым, а при наличии рыночной концентрации может быть положительным для отдельных фирм)

    Англо-русский экономический словарь > Bain Index

  • 6 Bain, Joe Staten

    эк. Бейн, Джо Стейтен (1912-1991; американский экономист, ученик Й. Шумпетера; работал в Калифорнийском университете в Беркли; один из основателей теории организации отрасли, придававший особенный акцент анализу условий входа в отрасль (барьерам); автор концепции "сдерживающего ценообразования"; один из авторов методологии "структура-поведение-результат")

    Англо-русский экономический словарь > Bain, Joe Staten

  • 7 Alexander

    Alexander, J.
    Джеффри Александер, американский социолог, один из основоположников неофункционализма, стремящийся к созданию "многомерной" социологии на основе теорий К. Маркса, М. Вебера, Э. Дюркгейма, Т. Парсонса и др. Соч.: "Теоретическая логика в социологии", "Действие и его окружающие среды: к новому синтезу", "Неофункционализм и после него".

    Англо-русский словарь по социологии > Alexander

  • 8 Alexander Graham Bell

    Alexander Graham [`greiəm] Bell — Александер Грейам Белл (1847 — 1922), один из изобретателей телефона. По национальности шотландец, в США с 1871 г. В 1876 г. получил патент на первый практически пригодный телефон.

    Англо-русский универсальный дополнительный практический переводческий словарь И. Мостицкого > Alexander Graham Bell

  • 9 Bell Alexander Graham

    Alexander Graham [`greiəm] Bell — Александер Грейам Белл (1847 — 1922), один из изобретателей телефона. По национальности шотландец, в США с 1871 г. В 1876 г. получил патент на первый практически пригодный телефон.

    Англо-русский универсальный дополнительный практический переводческий словарь И. Мостицкого > Bell Alexander Graham

  • 10 Alexander

    N Alejandro

    English-spanish dictionary > Alexander

  • 11 bain-marie

    1 baño maría, baño de maría
    N (pl bains-marie) baño m (de) María

    English-spanish dictionary > bain-marie

  • 12 alexander

    1) ч. ім'я Елікзандер, Олександр
    2) смугастий шовк
    * * *
    I n
    ( Alexander) "алікзандер", коктейль з лікеру, джина e вершків
    II n; бот.

    English-Ukrainian dictionary > alexander

  • 13 alexander

    I n
    ( Alexander) "алікзандер", коктейль з лікеру, джина e вершків
    II n; бот.

    English-Ukrainian dictionary > alexander

  • 14 Alexander

    n. Alexander (voornaam)

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander

  • 15 Alexander Bell

    Alexander Bell

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander Bell

  • 16 Alexander Fleming

    (1881-1955) Alexander Fleming, Engelse bacterioloog die het penicilline in 1928 uitvond

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander Fleming

  • 17 Alexander Graham Bell

    n. Alexander Graham Bell

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander Graham Bell

  • 18 Alexander III

    n. Alexander de Derde

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander III

  • 19 Alexander Pushkin

    n. Alexander Pushkin, (1799-1837) Russische dichter en schrijver van korte verhalen

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander Pushkin

  • 20 Alexander Solzhenitsyn

    n. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, (geboren 1918) Russische schrijver en historicus, winnaar van de Nobel Prijs voor literatuur in 1970, hij was verbannen uit Rusland in 1974 en woonde in Zwitserland, verhuisde daarna naar de Verenigde Staten en in 1994 keerde hij terug naar Rusland

    English-Dutch dictionary > Alexander Solzhenitsyn

См. также в других словарях:

  • Alexander Bain — ist der Name folgender Personen: Alexander Bain (Uhrmacher) (1811–1877), schottischer Uhrmacher und Erfinder Alexander Bain (Philosoph) (1818–1903), britischer Psychologe, der sich mit dem Problem der Assoziation beschäftigte Diese Seite ist eine …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain — Infobox Celebrity name = Alexander Bain (philospher) caption = birth date = birth date|df=yes|1818|6|11 birth place = Caithness, Scotland death date = death date and age|df=yes|1903|9|18|1818|6|11 influenced = Charles Sanders Peirce occupation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain — Para el inventor de la batería de tierra, el reloj eléctrico y el fax , véase Alexander Bain (inventor). Alexander Bain (Aberdeeen 11 de junio de 1818 id . 18 de septiembre de 1903) filósofo, psicólogo y educador …   Wikipedia Español

  • Alexander Bain —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie différentes personnes partageant un même nom. Le nom d’Alexander Bain a été porté par au moins deux écossais célèbre : Alexander Bain (1811 1877), inventeur ; Alexander Bain (1818 1903),… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alexander Bain (Philosoph) — Alexander Bain. Alexander Bain (* 11. Juni 1818 in Aberdeen; † 18. September 1903 in Aberdeen) war ein schottischer Philosoph und Pädagoge. Alexander Bain hatte zunächst als Weber gearbeitet, trat aber im Alter von 18 Jahren dann doch in ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain (Uhrmacher) — Alexander Bain (1811 1877) Alexander Bain (* Oktober 1811 in Watten, Caithness; † 2. Januar 1877 in Kirkintilloch, Glasgow) war ein schottischer Uhrmacher und Erfinder. Bain baute die erste elektrische Uhr. Außerdem entwickelte er die Grundlagen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain Moncrieff — CMG (22 May 1845 – 11 April 1928) was an Irish born engineer, active in Australia. Moncrieff was the son of Alexander Rutherford Moncrieff, and was born at Dublin, Ireland. His family was of Scottish ancestry. He was educated principally at the… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain (philosophe) — Alexander Bain Philosophe écossais, Alexander Bain est né et mort à Aberdeen (1818 1903). Sa vie Issu d une famille pauvre mais admis, grâce à son ardeur au travail, au collège de sa ville natale, il fit une brillante carrière universitaire et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alexander Bain (inventor) — Infobox Celebrity name = Alexander Bain caption = For many years I have devoted myself to rendering electricity practically useful, and have been extensively engaged, not only in this country, but in America and on the Continent, in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexander Bain (inventeur) — L inventeur écossais Alexander Bain est né à Watten (Écosse) en octobre 1811 et mort à Bromhill près de Glasgow le 2 janvier 1877. Bain imagina d utiliser l eau pour fermer le circuit électrique du télégraphe. Puis en 1841, il s associe à Wright… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Alexander Bain — William Alexander Bain, 1905 1971, was a Scottish pharmacologist, best known for his early work with antihistamine drugs. Early Days Willie Bain was a grandson of William Bain, farmer, of Cairnie near Musselburgh, and of Mary Gardner. His father… …   Wikipedia


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