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About Induction Coils

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classic induction coil or coils

The induction coil is the direct ancestor of the modern-day transformer. After the invention of the electric battery by Allisandro Volta in 1791, followed by experiments in electromagnetic induction by Michael Faraday and Joseph Henry in the 1820s, the first high-voltage induction coil was developed by Charles Page, a New England inventor.

Page’s induction coil employed a primary coil of some turns of heavy copper around a bundle of soft iron rods and a secondary coil of many turns of fine wire wrapped on the outside of this primary coil. To interrupt the flow of current and cause a spark to jump across the terminals of the secondary coil, Page ran a screwdriver across a rough file between the battery and the induction coil. This crude method was greatly refined by other inventors and, by the 1850s, Heinrich D. Ruhmkorff, a German living in Paris, had produced the first standard form of induction coil that would find its way into many physics laboratories of the latter 19th century.

Because alternating-current systems were not available until the end of the 19th century, the induction coil was originally developed for use with direct current. These induction coil designs could take 6 to 12 volts from a series of chemical batteries and step up the voltage to many thousands of volts. Induction coils were rated according to the length of their sparks, and many a laboratory prided itself on the length of the spark their induction coil could jump. By the late 1880s, quite a number of companies manufactured fine-quality induction coils for the high-voltage experiments that constituted the physics of the latter part of the 19th century.

PV Scientific Instruments is the 21st century manufacturer of classic induction coils. We proudly offer beautiful, high-quality working reproductions of some of the finest classic induction coils ever made, artisan-made with care right in our own facility in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, USA. These induction coils are suitable for laboratory or demonstration use. Please contact us for further information.

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