George Henry Bachhoffner

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George Henry Bachhoffner (1810–1879), was a British scientist, one of the founders of the London Polytechnic Institution, and a lecturer on scientific subjects.

Bachhoffner was a native of London. It was in 1837 that he, in conjunction with a few others, he established the Polytechnic, which was intended for a place of popular instruction, and, indeed, while it was under Bachhoffner's control, sufficiently fulfilled that intention. Here he held the position of principal of the department of natural and experimental philosophy till 1855. Afterwards he became lessee and manager of the Coliseum in the Regent's Park, and there gave lectures similar to the courses he had established at the Polytechnic.

In the later part of his life he held a post as registrar of births and deaths in Marylebone. Bachhoffner was an inventor, and took out several patents for inventions connected with the electric telegraph, gas stoves and oil lamps.

In experiments with an early induction coil in 1837, he found that replacing the solid iron core with a core made of a bundle of parallel iron wires greatly increased the output voltage.[1] As was later discovered, this was because the divided core prevented eddy currents from flowing in the core. Eddy currents, circular electric currents induced in the core by the changing magnetic field, cause power losses. The technique of a "divided" iron core was used in all subsequent transformers, and is still used today in the form of laminated cores in transformers and powdered iron cores in inductors. Bachhoffner can thus be credited with the invention of this method of preventing eddy current losses.[1]


  1. ^ a b Fleming, John Ambrose (1896). The Alternate Current Transformer in Theory and Practice, Vol. 2. London: The Electrician Publishing Co. pp. 10–11. 

 "Bachhoffner, George Henry". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 

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