Timeline of the electric motor

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Electric motors have a long history going back to the early nineteenth century.


Nineteenth century

Date, NameElectric Motor ChronologySelected Patents
1740s,  Andrew Gordon and Benjamin Franklin British (Gordon), American (Franklin); experimentation with electrostatic motors. [1] [2]
1820,  Hans Christian Ørsted Danish, physicist and chemist; first to note a compass needle deflected from magnetic north when an electric current from a battery was switched on and off, confirming a direct relationship between electricity and magnetism. [3] [4] [5] [6]
1820,  André-Marie Ampère French, physicist; invented the solenoid. [3] [6]
1821  Michael Faraday British, scientist; showed continuous 'electromagnetic rotation' resulted by suspending a magnetic wire in an electric field; [3] [4] [5] [6]
1822,  Peter Barlow British, physicist; invented Barlow's wheel, the first device ever powered by electromagnetism. [3] [5] [6] [7]
1824,  François Arago French, physicist; showed a rotating copper disk produced rotation in a magnetic needle suspended above it, which Faraday later attributed to induction phenomena. [6] [8] [9]
1828,  Ányos Jedlik Hungarian, physicist and unsung father of the dynamo and electric motor; invented the first commutated rotary electromechanical machine with electromagnets. [3] [5] He invented the commutator. In 1828 Jedlik demonstrated the first device to contain the three main components of practical DC motors: the stator, rotor and commutator. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
Before 1830,  Johann Michael Ekling Austrian, mechanic; constructed an electric motor according to the plans of Austrian physicist Andreas von Baumgartner. [17]
1831 Michael Faraday British, scientist; discovered and investigated induction law in terms of electric current generation in a varying magnetic field. [3] [5] [6] [18]
1831,  Joseph Henry American, physicist; Created a mechanical rocker, which he however describes as a philosophical toy. [3] [6] [18]
1825-1833 William Sturgeon British, scientist; 1825 - invented the electro-magnet; 1833 - built first commutated rotating electric machine that was demonstrated in London. [3]
1832–33,  Hippolyte Pixii French, instrument maker, built the first AC generating apparatus out of a rotation; and, the following year, an oscillating DC generator. [3] [5] [6] [19]
1833,  Joseph Saxton American, inventor; demonstrated a magneto-electric machine before the British Association for the Advancement of Science. [18]
1833,  Heinrich Friedrich Emil Lenz German; formulated the law of reversibility of generators and motors. [3] [4] [6]
1834–1839,  Moritz von Jacobi German-Russian, engineer and physicist; built a 15 watt motor in 1834 submitted to the Academy of Sciences in Paris with details published in 1835; demonstrated first use of electric motor to propel a boat; first real useful rotary electrical motor. [3] [5] [6] [18] [20]
1837,  Thomas Davenport and Emily Davenport American, blacksmith-inventor and inventor; obtained first US electric motor patent. [3] [5] [7] [18] US 132
1837–1842,  Robert Davidson Scottish, inventor; developed electric motors for a lathe and a locomotive. [3] [5] [18] [20]
1838, Solomon StimpsonAmerican; built a 12-pole electric motor with segmental commutator. [7] [18] [20] US 910
1840, Truman CookAmerican; built electric motor with a PM armature. [18] [20] US 1735
1845,  Paul-Gustav Froment French, engineer and instrument maker; first of various motors; first motor translated linear "electromagnetic piston's" energy to wheel's rotary motion. See also Mouse mill motor. [6] [18] [20] [21]
1856,  Werner Siemens German, industrialist; invented generator with a double-T armature and slots windings. [3] [6]
1861–1864,  James Clerk Maxwell British, scientist; reduced electromagnetism knowledge in four key equations. [3] [5] [6]
1871–1873,  Zénobe Théophile Gramme Belgian, engineer; developed the anchor ring motor which solved the double-T armature pulsating DC problem; at Vienna exhibition, demonstrated to great effect ability to transmit between generator and motor 1 km apart. [3] [6]
1879,  Walter Baily British; based on Arago's rotations, by manual switching on and off, developed the first primitive commutatorless induction motor. [4] [9]
1880, Marcel Deprez French engineer; by the progressive shifting of a magnetic field through the mechanical commutator in regular order around a center, electric currents are being developed by induction in a rotating metal mass without sliding contacts or commutator. [22]
1885,  Galileo Ferraris Italian, physicist and engineer; invented the first AC commutatorless induction motor using two-phase AC windings in space quadrature. Delivered a paper on it in April 1888. [3] [4] [9] [23]
1887, M. BorelConstructed a two phase motor where the rotor is set in rotation by the combined rotating field produced with two sets of coils. [24]
1887, Helios Co.Based on Coerper's patent, Helios Co. constructed the first 3-phase motor with three slip-rings. The project was dropped in 1890 as they could get satisfactory results using a 2-phase current. [25]
1887,  Friedrich August Haselwander Friedrich August Haselwander develops the first AC 3 phase synchronous generator in Europe. The patent application filed in July 1887. His first generator of this type went into operation in October 1887. [26] [27]
1887, Charles S. BradleyMotor/generators with a Gramme ring, having multiple radial connectors, led off at corresponding symmetrical points to slip-rings. He thus obtained alternate currents differing in phase. [28] US390439A
1887–1891,  Nikola Tesla Serbian-American, engineer and inventor; having worked independently from Ferraris, presented a paper in May, 1888 to AIEE describing three patented two-phase four-stator-pole motor types: one with a four-pole rotor forming a non-self-starting reluctance motor, another with a wound rotor forming a self-starting induction motor, and the third a true synchronous motor with separately-excited DC supply to rotor winding. Westinghouse acquired exclusive rights to the Tesla patents as well as the Ferraris design and retain Tesla as a consultant for a short time to work on development of these motors. [3] [4] [5] [6] [9] US 0,381,968
US 0,381,969
US 0,382,279
US 0,382,280
1886,  Frank Julian Sprague American, industrialist; development of new constant-speed DC motor, which allowed the Sprague company to issue the world's "first important industrial electric motor catalogue". [29]
1889–90,  Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovolsky Polish-Russian, engineer and inventor; invented the first cage and wound rotor versions of the three-phase induction motor that are still widely in use today. [3] [4] [5] [6] [9]

Twentieth century

Date, NameElectric Motor ChronologySelected Patents
1905, Alfred ZehdenGerman, a feasible linear induction motor described in patent form for driving trains or lifts. U.S. Patent 782,312
1935, Hermann Kemper German, built a working linear induction motor
1945–1949, Eric Laithwaite British, first full-size working model of linear induction motor

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