Electromagnetic engine model, c 1840.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This electromagnetic engine was typical of the engines of the time in that it used reciprocating motion like a contemporary steam engine. These engines were not succesful for a combination of reasons; they reflected contemporary steam engine technology which was inappropriate for electricity, they lacked a suitable power source, and they had to use batteries which were too costly. Made by Watkins & Hill of Charing Cros, London.