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British Industrial History

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Frederick Hale Holmes

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Frederic(k) Hale Holmes (1812- ) was a Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art and pioneer of electric lighting.

1812 Born in London the son of George Holmes

1847 July 7th. Married(1) in London to Mary Fuller

1851 Living at 15 Alfred Street, St. Giles, London: Frederic Holmes (age 40 born London), Professor of Natural Philosophy. With his wife Mary Holmes (age 48 born London). Also his nephew George Donnelly (age 9 born Kerry, Ireland). One servant.[1]

1853 He demonstrated the ability of electro-magnetic generators to provide continuous current to power arc light

1853-6 Worked in France with Floris Nollet developing the magneto, patented by Nollet.

1856 Patented a magneto to power an arc light for lighthouses which he demonstrated to Michael Faraday at Blackwall in 1857. His experiments with alternating current arc lighting at North Foreland Lighthouse in 1857-60 were the subject of a lecture by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution.

1861 A boarder at 18 Leicester Square, London: Frederick H. Holmes (age 49 born St. George, Bloomsbury), Engineer and Married.[2]

1863 Developed a reed trumpet for lighthouses. One of these was installed at Souter Point Lighthouse, working on compressed air at 30 psi.

One of Holmes' generators built in 1867 and used at Souter Point Lighthouse is displayed at the Science Museum, London.

1874 February 22nd. Married(2) in France to Edme Louise Prevost

1881 Living at 15 Walham Grove, Fulham: Frederick H. Holmes (age 70 born Bedford Square, Mddx.), Patentee of Fog Signals. With his wife Louise Holmes (age 58 born France) and their daughter Annie Holmes (age 18 born Greenhithe, Kent), Prof of Music. Also his niece Jeanne Prevost (age 24 born new Orleans, USA), Instructress.[3]

1881 Filed a patent (granted 1883 in US) for a "Siren for Signalling"

Holmes retired in poor health to the south of France some time after 1887

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. 1881 Census
  • Wikipedia
  • 'Lost Sounds' by Alan Renton, Whittles Publishing, 2001