Essay on Faraday

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Faraday

It is not my intention to lay before you a life of Faraday in the ordinary accepting of the term. The duty I have to perform is to give you some notion of what he has done in the world; dwelling incidentally on the spirit in which his work was executed, and introducing such personal traits as may be necessary to the completion of your picture of the philosopher, though by no means adequate to give you a complete idea of the man. Michael Faraday was born at Newington Butts, on September 22, 1791, and he died at Hampton Court, on August 25, 1867. When thirteen years old, that is to say in 1804, Faraday was apprenticed to a bookseller and bookbinder where he spent eight years of his life, after which he worked as a
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At this time he was acquiring, not producing; working hard for his master and storing and strengthening his own mind. He assisted Mr. Brande in his lectures, and so quietly, skillfully, and modestly was his work done, that Mr. Brande's vocation at the time was pronounced 'lecturing on velvet.' In 1820 Faraday published a chemical paper 'on two new compounds of chlorine and carbon, and on a new compound of iodine, carbon, and hydrogen.' This paper was read before the Royal Society on December 21, 1820, and it was the first of his that was honored with a place in the 'Philosophical Transactions.' On June 12, 1821, he married, and obtained leave to bring his young wife into his rooms at the Royal Institution. There for forty-six years they lived together, occupying the suite of apartments which had been previously in the successive occupancy of Young, Davy, and Brande. At the time of her marriage Mrs. Faraday was twenty-one years of age, he being nearly thirty. Oersted, in 1820, discovered the action of a voltaic current on a magnetic needle; and immediately afterwards the splendid intellect of Ampere succeeded in showing that every magnetic phenomenon then known might be reduced to the mutual action of electric currents. This attracted Faraday's attention to the subject. He read much about it; and in the months of July, August, and September he wrote a 'history of the progress of electromagnetism,' which he published in Thomson's

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