Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,597 pages of information and 209,979 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Samuel Alfred Varley

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1866. Self-exciting dynamo by S. A. Varley.

(Samuel) Alfred Varley (1832–1921)

Born 1832, son of Cornelius Varley and brother of Cromwell Varley

1852 Followed his brother, C. F. Varley, into the Manchester workshops of Electric Telegraph Co.

1858-9 He supervised the first field telegraphs used in the Crimean War and published influential papers on cable signalling in 1858–9.

1860 Married Emily Andrews; seven children, of whom at least three survived him.

1861 He took over running a London telegraph factory owned by his father (Varley and Son?). Alfred and Cromwell fell out.

1866 Made the first self-excited dynamo (several others were invented at about the same time)

1873 S. A. Varley read a paper on "Railway Train Intercommunication" at the Society of Engineers; mentioned his system as fitted to LNWR Royal Train.

Invented compound winding but his patents on this and the dynamo lapsed before they became commercially valuable.

1883 He wrote-in to The Engineer immediately after his brother Cromwell's death with a letter regarding claims over his brother to invention. Read it on page 224 of The Engineer 1883/09/21.

1883 Residing at 2 Hamilton Road, Highbury.[1]

Late 80s became known as a vocal critic of electrical engineers' increasing reliance on mathematical theory.

1921 Died at his house, Abbottsacre Lodge, Abbott's Road, Winchester on 4 August.

1921 Obituary [2]

1921 Obituary [3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1883/09/21
  2. The Engineer 1921/08/12
  3. Engineering 1921 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index