Gustave Trouve: French Electrical Genius (1839-1902)

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McFarland, Jun 15, 2015 - History - 228 pages
In the latter half of the 19th century, Gustave Pierre Trouve, a modest but brilliant Parisian electrical engineer, conceived and patented some 75 inventions, including the endoscope, the electric car and the frontal headlamp. He also designed an electric boat--complete with outboard motor, headlight and horn--an electric rifle, an electric piano and luminous fountains, and developed wearable technology and ultraviolet light therapy. Unlike his famous contemporary Nikola Tesla, who worked for Thomas Edison and was patronized by George Westinghouse, Trouve never came to America. A confirmed bachelor disinterested in industrialization, he was gradually forgotten following his accidental death in 1902. This expanded edition of the 2012 French first-ever biography of Trouve details the fascinating life of the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor once dubbed "the French Edison."
 

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This is an important book about one of the great and undeservedly forgotten electrical geniuses of the 19th century. With his friend Gaston Planté, the inventor of the lead acid battery, Trouvé was a key figure in seeing how stored electrical power could and would revolutionise the world. This book is a much needed -- and highly readable too -- account of a significant figure who helped shape modern life. 

Contents

Foreword by John Devitt
1
Preface
3
One A Boy from the Touraine
7
Two Paris
14
Three From a Workshop in the Rue Vivienne
43
Four A Point of Light
69
Five Lamps Without Danger
91
Six Luminous Fountains and Mechanical Birds
119
Seven Healing with Light
136
Eight An Alternative Light Source
153
Nine Rehabilitating Trouvé
174
Trouvés 75 Inventions and Innovations
183
Trouvé in the Twenty First Century
185
Chapter Notes
197
Bibliography
203
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About the author (2015)

Kevin Desmond, a technology historian and biographer, lives near Bordeaux in southern France. Since 1976, he has published 33 books and 300-plus articles on the men and women innovators, often forgotten, behind the progress of transport and related subjects.

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