1887 World’s First Plug-In Motor still works as new


This motor was originally intended for Edison’s 110V DC lighting system supply, and would certainly spin fast and strong (about 1/6hp, est) at that voltage. But here it is run at only about ten percent voltage supply, to make it sedate. Carbon brushes were not quite yet invented, so you see laminated brass or bronze brushes: they are fanned stacks of very thin metal, in contact with the copper commutator. This is a classic, simple, bipolar, series-wound motor, absolutely identical in basic feature to an Edison dynamo of the era.

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