Emily Davenport

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Emily Goss Davenport
A black and white photo of the head and shoulders of inventor Emily Davenport
Emily Goss

(1810-04-29)April 29, 1810
DiedOctober 5, 1862(1862-10-05) (aged 52)
Brandon, Vermont
Known forinventing the electric motor
Spouse(s)Thomas Davenport

Emily Goss Davenport (April 29, 1810[1] in Brandon, Vermont – October 5, 1862 in Brandon, Vermont[2]) was an inventor from Vermont, United States. Emily, with her husband Thomas Davenport, invented an electric motor[3] and electric locomotive circa 1834.

Throughout the process of invention, Emily kept detailed notes and actively contributed to the process.[3] Needing to insulate the motor's iron core, Davenport cut her wedding dress into strips of silk to insulate the wire windings.[4] She is also credited with the idea of using mercury as a conductor, enabling the motor to function for the first time.[4]


  1. ^ "Vermont Births and Christenings, 1765-1908". FamilySearch. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Vermont Vital Records, 1760-1954". FamilySearch. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Lin, Patricia. "Women Inventors: Davenport". Archived from the original on April 27, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Vare, Ethlie Ann; Ptacek, Greg (2002). Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners, Stories of Women Inventors and Their Breakthrough Ideas. New York: John Wiley & Sons, inc. p. 28. ISBN 0-471-02334-5.

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