140 years since the first recorded application of transformer

140 years ago, on 30 November 1876, a Russian inventor and electrical engineer, Yablochkov Pavel Nikolayevich, received the world’s first patent for his electric candle – considered a first-ever application of the transformer.

In 1876 Yablochkov invented a lighting system based on a set of induction coils where the primary windings were connected to a source of alternating current. The secondary windings could be connected to several ‘electric candles’ (arc lamps) of his own design.

Yablochkov developed a technique for “splitting” electric light (i.e. feeding many candles from one current generator), suggesting three solutions for this problem, including first-ever application of transformer and condenser.

Yablochkov’s light system was exhibited at a Paris World Fair in 1878 and became extremely popular all over the world.

He sold rights for his invention to the French “General Electric Company with Yablochkov’s patents”.

Following this, in 1882 the open-core transformer was patented in France by inventors Lucien Gaulard and Josiah Willard Gibbs.

Source: Russie-IC; rbth
Image: Andrei Sdobnikov (CC Licence)