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Zénobe Gramme by Nadar, 1893
4 April 1826|
|Died||20 January 1901
|Père Lachaise Cemetery|
|Known for||Gramme dynamo|
Zénobe Théophile Gramme was a Belgian electrical engineer. He was born at Jehay-Bodegnée on 4 April 1826, the sixth child of Mathieu-Joseph Gramme, and died at Bois-Colombes on 20 January 1901. He invented the Gramme machine, a type of direct current dynamo capable of generating smoother (less AC) and much higher voltages than the dynamos known to that point.
Gramme machine as motor
In 1873 he and Hippolyte Fontaine accidentally discovered that the device was reversible and would spin when connected to any DC power supply. The Gramme machine was the first usefully powerful electrical motor that was successful industrially. Before Gramme's inventions, electric motors attained only low power and were mainly used as toys or laboratory curiosities. In 1875, Nikola Tesla observed a Gramme machine at the Graz University of Technology. He conceived the idea of using it for alternating current but was unable to develop the idea at this time.
In 1857 he married Hortense Nysten who was a widow and mother of a daughter, Héloïse. Hortense died in 1890.
Death and tributes
In 2005 he ended at the 23rd place in the election of Le plus grand Belge (The Greatest Belgian), the television show broadcast by the French-speaking RTBF and based on the BBC show 100 Greatest Britons.
Zénobe Gramme, by Mathurin Moreau
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zénobe Gramme.|
- "Zénobe Gramme : un enfant du pays". Hyperpaysagedejehay.be. 8 June 2008. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Hippolyte Fontaine (French engineer) – Encyclopedia Britannica". Britannica.com. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Nikola Tesla: Planting Seends". Fi.edu. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
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