Tiberius Cavallo

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Tiberius Cavallo
Tiberius Cavallo.jpg
Born (1749-03-30)March 30, 1749
Died December 21, 1809(1809-12-21) (aged 60)

Tiberius Cavallo (also Tiberio) (March 30 1749 – December 21 1809) was an Italian physicist and natural philosopher.


He was born at Naples, where his father was a physician.

In 1771 he came to England with the intention of pursuing a mercantile career, but he soon turned his attention to scientific work. He made several ingenious improvements in scientific instruments. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1779, and gave annual Bakerian Lectures from 1780 to 1792.[1]

Cavallo was often cited in the literature of his time as inventor of Cavallo's multiplier, a device he used for the amplification of small electric charges, making them observable and measurable in an electroscope.[2] He also worked on refrigeration,[3] and his work influenced pioneer balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard.[4] He published on musical temperament.[5]

He died in London on 21 December 1809.


He published numerous works on different branches of physics, including:

  • A Complete Treatise on Electricity (1777)
  • Treatise on the Nature and Properties of Air and other permanently Elastic Fluids (1781)
  • History and Practice of Aerostation (1785)
  • Treatise on Magnetism (1787)
  • Elements of Natural and Experimental Philosophy (1803)
  • Theory and Practice of Medical Electricity (1780)
  • Medical Properties of Factitious Air (1798).

For Rees's Cyclopaedia he contributed articles on Electricity, Machinery and Mechanics, but the topics are not known.


  1. ^ Archive Bakerian lectures 1799 - 1775
  2. ^ [1], on the "pocket electrometer".
  3. ^ UCL Bentham Project
  4. ^ FAI Ballooning Commission - Spring 2001 Newsletter
  5. ^ The Russell Collection of Early Keyboard Instruments - Dr. Smith's "Equal-Harmony"

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