Swinburne Hedgehog Transformer, circa 1890

Summary

In 1889, Scottish-born James Swinburne designed a transformer with a core of prickly iron wires. Swinburne claimed his open-circuit "hedgehog" transformer was more efficient than closed-circuit transformers for voltage regulation. Scientists and electrical engineers disputed his assertions and found his innovation was less efficient. Swinburne, however, remained a well-respected member of the engineering field.

In 1889, Scottish-born James Swinburne designed a transformer with a core of prickly iron wires. Swinburne claimed his open-circuit "hedgehog" transformer was more efficient than closed-circuit transformers for voltage regulation. Scientists and electrical engineers disputed his assertions and found his innovation was less efficient. Swinburne, however, remained a well-respected member of the engineering field.

Artifact

Transformer

Date Made

circa 1890

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

29.1333.251

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Westinghouse Electric Company.

Material

Wood (Plant material)
Rope
Wire

Color

Brown

Dimensions

Length: 20 in

Diameter: 7.5 in

Inscriptions

on plaque on end: SWINBURNE & CO PATENT/ P1000 V130 PPS/ S 50 V50 A/ NO 215

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