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The Earliest Electromagnetic Instruments

by Robert A. Chipman

The history of the early stages of electromagnetic instrumentation is traced here through the men who devised the theories and constructed the instruments.Despite the many uses made of voltaic cells after Volta’s announcement of his “pile” invention in 1800, two decades passed before Oersted discovered the magnetic effects of a voltaic circuit. As a result of this and within a five-month period, three men, apparently independently, announced the invention of the “first” electromagnetic instrument. This article details the merits of their claims to priority.


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