Charles F. Brush: The Man Who Created the Modern Generator

A generator

Charles Brush was born and raised on a farm outside of Cleveland. From a young age, he was very intrigued by the science world and drawn to engineering. Some of his key inspiration was from Humphry Davy’s experiments, namely the arc light. At the age of 12, he was building electrical devices and in high school he built his first arc light. He attended university at University of Michigan where he studied mining engineering.

Though there had been other, less efficient versions of the generator created in years before, Brush invented the “dynamo” in 1876. He was supported by Wetting Supply Company in Cleveland to design a new rendition of the current power sources that existed, formerly designed by Zénobe Gramme and Antonio Pacinotti. "The best forms of magneto-electric apparatus at present before the public are unnecessarily bulky, heavy, and expensive, and are more or less wasteful of mechanical power." Brush once quoted.

Brush’s generator was drastically more accessible, efficient and less cumbersome than many of the previous designs, ultimately sold through the Telegraph Supply Company. Brush also went on to patent various arc light designs. Both his generator and light designs became known for their dependability and endurance and were often used for public lighting in major cities. By the time he was 32, his lights and generators were being utilized to illuminate cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Montreal, Buffalo, San Francisco, Cleveland and many others.

His designs inspired thousands of inventions we see today. His legacy lives on in products as simple as the light bulb to inventions as complex as large-scale energy grids. We understand there is not much household use of energy grids, but for all of your household generator and lighting needs, Mister Sparky has you covered.

For more information about using generators or hiring a generator electrician, contact us today by calling (800) 906-4577.