Paul Jablochkov - Encyclopedia

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PAUL JABLOCHKOV (1847-1894), Russian electrical engineer and inventor, was born at Serdobsk, in the government of Saratov, on the 14th of September 1847, and educated at St Petersburg. In 1871 he was appointed director of the telegraph lines between Moscow and Kursk, but in 1875 he resigned his position in order to devote himself to his researches on electric lighting by arc lamps, which he had already taken up. In 1876 he settled in Paris, and towards the end of the year brought out his famous "candles," known by his name, which consisted of two carbon parallel rods, separated by a non-conducting partition; alternating currents were employed, and the candle was operated by a high-resistance carbon match connecting the tips of the rods, a true arc forming between the parallel carbons when this burnt off, and the separators volatilizing as the carbons burnt away. For a few years his system of electric lighting was widely adopted, but it was gradually superseded (see Lighting: Electric) and is no longer in use. Jablochkov made various other electrical inventions, but he died in poverty, having returned to Russia on the 19th of March 1894.

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