The Great Electromagnet, c 1830-1850.
© Royal Institution / Science & Society Picture Library
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is credited as one of the first men to work on electromagnetism, but was initially a general scientist. On being asked to write an historical account of electromagnetism in 1821, he repeated all the experiments done so far and made the discovery that a wire could be made to revolve, rather than just move, when subjected to an electromagnetic force. This picture shows the Great Electromagnet mounted under a bench in a laboratory.