When asked “Who is Michael Faraday?” Your likely response would be “Why he is the Father of electricity! A leading chemist and physicist. The founder of electromagnetic induction” and you’d be right of course, but there is much more to Michael Faraday. Read on for five facts about Faraday you may not have known.
Faraday invented the Toy Balloon
Prior to 1824 when Faraday invented the rubber balloon, toy balloons were made from pigs bladders and animal intestines. Faraday made his balloons by cutting around two sheets of rubber and pressing together the edges. The adjoining surfaces were dusted with flour to stop the insides fusing together. Michael Faraday filled these balloons with hydrogen as part of his research at the Royal Institute of London.
Faraday secured Einstein his first job
One of the most influential scientists of all time, Albert Einstein kept a picture of Faraday on the wall of his study in Princeton, New Jersey. It was said to be Einstein’s knowledge of Michael Faraday (and the Scottish theoretical physicist James Maxwell) that secured Einstein his first job at the Swiss Patent Office.
The best bar none
The most southerly bar in the world, on Galindez Island in Antarctica, was named after Faraday. It is currently on the Ukrainian Research Station, but it was built and named when the place was on Britain’s Faraday Atmospheric Research Station. The bar came about when a consignment of wood sent by the British Government to replace a broken boat dock was commandeered by carpenters to build the Antarctic Peninsula’s only bar. It was built to replicate a tradition British tavern complete with pint pots and real ale.
Causing a stink!
Faraday was one of the first people to recognise the horrendous condition of the Thames waterway. At the time the Thames was being use both as a rubbish dumping ground and a main source of drinking water. Faraday conducted a number of experiments to test the quality of the water which confirmed his suspicion – the Thames was little more than a “fermenting Sewer”. Parliament largely ignored his finding until just 3 years later a usually hot summer caused the Thames to boil and fill the whole of London with a repugnant odour. The government could ignore him no longer and a completely new sewer system was soon implemented.
Standing on the shoulders of giants
Michael Faraday died in 1867 at the age of seventy-five. He had previously declined the offer of internment at Westminster Abbey and instead was buried in Highgate Cemetery North London. A plaque is dedicated to Faraday at Westminster and is placed beneath the grave of Sir Isaac Newton.
About the Author: Colin McDonald is an avid history lover who just loves to dig out the fun facts that encourage people to find out more about a subject. I am currently loving researching the beginnings of electricity and received a lot of help and advice from www.havenpower.com.