Colton direct current railway motor

Colton direct current railway motor

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Description (Brief)
Markings: None. Description:(From previous exhibit label) Original Colton Electric Railway Motor, 1846. Made and used by Dr. Gardner Q. Colton, an American physician and lecturer on electrical phenomena. This motor consists of two magnets, so arranged that the metal bars placed on the ends of the rocking arm are attracted as the magnets are alternately energized, imparting a reciprocal motion to the arm. This motion is transmitted through a driving rod to a wheel geared to the driving wheels of the chassis. Rewiring of chassis appears to have been done with modern solid insulation wire. References: Pamphlet: "The First Electric Engine Ever Driven On a Track by Electricity." T. C. Martin, " The Electric Railway Work of Dr. Colton in 1847....The First Use of Track as Circuit:., Electrical Engineer Vol. 16., July 19, 1893.
Object Name
Electric Motor
electric motor
Other Terms
Electric Motor; Electromagnetic Devices
date made
associated user
Colton, Gardiner Q.
overall: 8 in x 12 in x 5 in; 20.32 cm x 30.48 cm x 12.7 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
From Andrew J. Dam
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Lighting a Revolution
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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