Holmes' lighthouse generator, 1867.
2 9 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Holmes' lighthouse generator, 1867.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Frederick Hale Holmes (c 1840-1875), analytical chemist and engineer, was asked to continue work originated by F Nollet (1794-1853) on lighthouse illumination. While working on magneto-electric generators Holmes found they could provide a continuous current able to produce a brilliant electric arc for lighting. This generator was one of a pair put into service at Souter Point Lighthouse in 1871, between South Shields and Sunderland, until 1900. By then dynamo makers had produced various arc lighting systems.

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