Clockwork interruptor, once owned by David Hughes, 1875-1880

Made:
1875-1880 in England
Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Note that this image has been Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Note that this image has been Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Front three quarter view. Graduated Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Front three quarter view. Graduated

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Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Note that this image has been
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Note that this image has been
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Front three quarter view. Graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Clockwork interruptor, once owned by radio pioneer David Edward Hughes (1831-1900). Front three quarter view. Graduated
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Clockwork interruptor made and used by David Edward Hughes (1831-1900), England, c. 1879. In 1879 David Edward Hughes (1829/31-1900) was carrying out some experiments with his induction balance. He found that if a circuit was formed by joining up in series a battery, a microphone and one of the coils of his balance, any interruption of the circuit was accompanied by a disturbance which became audible in a telephone receiver connected to another microphone, even when the circuits were widely separated and there was no direct connection between them. It is now known that Hughes had unwittingly discovered electromagnetic radiation, but scientific friends considered the results were due to electromagnetic induction. Discouraged, Hughes did not publish his discoveries and the credit went to Heinrich Hertz some seven years later. This is the clockwork-powered interruptor that Hughes devised to give an automatic series of interruptions of the circuit while he moved around his house and the street outside with his detecting apparatus.

Details

Category:
Radio Communication
Object Number:
1922-149
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), copper (alloy), steel (metal), wax and wood (unidentified)
type:
movement - clockwork
taxonomy:
  • component - object
credit:
Executors of the late Anna C. Hughes