Milestone-Proposal talk:Milestone pacinotti

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Suggested revisions to the plaque citation -- Administrator4 (talk) 13:37, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

I would suggest the following revision to the plaque citation in order to: 1) reduce the wording to less than the 70-word absolute maximum, 2) emphasise the main significance of Pacinotti's advance (namely the absence of pulses), 3) shift the passive voice to active, 4) delete the phrase about working both as a motor and a generator (since that is not unusual of dynamos) and 5) delete reference to the work of Gramme.

In 1863, Antonio Pacinotti, at the University of Pisa, described and built an early direct-current dynamo equipped with a ring armature, the first in Italy. He connected the groups of turns of the closed armature winding to the bars of a commutator. Pacinotti's machine was a practical dynamo because it produced steady current without pulses.

Re: Suggested revisions to the plaque citation -- Sbarmada (talk) 15:29, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Replace this text with your reply

Thank you for your suggestion on how to improve the plaque citation. In order to take into account your comment we propose the following new version:

In 1863, Antonio Pacinotti, at the University of Pisa, described and built a novel type of direct-current dynamo equipped with a ring armature. He connected the groups of turns of the closed armature winding to the bars of a commutator. Pacinotti's machine was a practical dynamo because it produced steady current without pulses. Pacinotti observed that the dynamo could work both as a generator and as a motor.

We are confident you may accept the above citation and I thank you again for your helpful suggestions.


Revision of the information relative to the plaque location -- Sbarmada (talk) 14:51, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

This text contains better information about the intended location of the plaque (revision suggested by the advocate)

The original labs where Antonio Pacinotti studied and operated as a Professor of Applied Physics are no longer existing. A prototype of his invention (an early dynamo machine equipped with a ring armature) is currently available at the University of Pisa. A bas-relief reproducing the image of Antonio Pacinotti and his dynamo is actually located In the main historical building (dating back to the 1930s) of the School of Engineering of the same university, next to the entrance of the main lecture hall. The bas-relief does not contain any details except the name of the scientist. The IEEE plaque could be placed side by side to the bas-relief, giving to both a great prominence and importance.

Title Revision -- Sbarmada (talk) 15:06, 29 October 2017 (UTC)

Following the suggestion of the advocate we propose a new title without the name Pacinotti

First Studies on Ring Armature for Direct-Current Dynamos, 1863

Advocate's Approval -- Juan Carlos (talk) 13:19, 28 November 2017 (UTC)

Working together with Robert Dent, we have received 3 positive evaluations for the proposal, and none against.

From James Kirtley, (FIEEE) Professor at MIT and recipient of the IEEE “Nicola Tesla” Award. He did work and has an US patent related to ring armatures.

From Edward Owen, (FIEEE) specialist in rotating electrical machines and past member of the IEEE History Committee.

From Joe Cunningham -through Carl Sulzberger, both recognized for their dedication to History in the Power and Energy Society.

I myself have been active in the PES many years and my own evaluation is also positive.

As the advocate, I recommend this proposal to be approved as an IEEE Milestone.

Pacinotti’s design was new and the first one really producing useful Direct Current Power. It was seminal in the development of direct current dynamos. Furthermore, he was the first in observing the reversibility of electrical rotating machines between generator and motor. The name of the investigator, Antonio Pacinotti (who was granted Honorary Membership in the IEEE for this work) deserves to be included in the citation. The mention of Gramme’s posterior work is also important for clarification, because very few mentions of Pacinotti are found in the literature, and Gramme’s later work is much more known for practically the same ring armature design. This design was seminal in the development of direct current dynamos, and an IEEE Milestone is well deserved.

The name/title of the Milestone and the wording on the citation have been polished working together with the proposers; the final, revised version is as follows:

First Studies on Ring Armature for Direct-Current Dynamos, 1863

At the University of Pisa in 1863, Antonio Pacinotti described and built a dynamo with a slotted ring armature, a significant step leading to practical electrical machines for direct current. Groups of turns of the closed winding were connected to the bars of a commutator. He also observed that it worked both as a generator or motor. Years later a similar design was reinvented and patented by Zenobe Gramme.

Re: Advocate's Approval -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 19:37, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

Not knowing the works of Pacinotti, I did an online search on him. Both and Wikipedia have him building the dynamo in 1860 rather than 1863. It was reinvented by Gramme 10 years later. Why is 1863 being using in the citation?

More of the story -- Allisonmarsh (talk) 17:35, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

I would like to know more of the history. This invention was awarded a medal at the Vienna exposition, but it didn't catch on? How did it influence the field? What practical applications was it put to? Why was it reinvented? If there is more information about the history of the invention, there is less necessity for naming individuals.

I concur -- CSchlombs (talk) 19:32, 7 March 2018 (UTC)

I concur with the previous two contributions: The milestone appears to be worthy of approval, the questions is what the milestone citation should highlight. Given the committee's hesitation in including individual names in milestone citations, providing more historical background the the citation appears to be a good solution. It may also help explain the significance of the milestone to a non-technical audience.

Re: I concur -- Sbarmada (talk) 11:36, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Replace this text with your reply

Dear All, we have tried to resume a bit of the history hoping that this answers to your questions:

Antonio Pacinotti (Pisa, Italy: June 17, 1841 - March 24, 1912)

Graduated from the University of Pisa in 1861; the following year, became the assistant to the astronomer Giovan Battista Donati (1826-1873) and, in 1864, professor at the Istituto Tecnico of Bologna. In 1873, elected professor of physics at the University of Cagliari and, in 1881, succeeded his father in the chair of technological physics at the University of Pisa. Is chiefly known for his research on dynamos and electric motors. Pacinotti devised a ring inductor fitted with a collector, which became the basic component of a great number of dynamo-electric machines developed a few years later by the Belgian Zénobe-Théophile Gramme (1826-1901) and used in the manufacturing industry.

Under the direction of his father, Luigi Pacinotti (professor at the technological physics at the University of Pisa), he early began study of electromagnetism, and by time he was 17 years of age had the principles of the dc generator well in mind, constructing in 1860 the celebrated machine. About the invention, Pacinotti wrote in some personal notes: "The electro-magnetic machine of which the first ideas are here recorded, was built by me in a small model; [...] This machine has only one fixed electro magnet. It works very well as a magneto-electric machine, since always gives a very intense current in one direction". In another note, dated 22 and 23 June 1860, Antonio Pacinotti wrote that "the machine works well both as a motor and as a dynamo", having noted that if the original machine were supplied with energy from an outside source it would run as a motor. In September, 1860, he declared that his machine with respect to other similar devices, such as the Clarke machine, has the advantage of producing direct current, with a constant rotation speed.

In 1862, he was appointed to the assistant professorship of astronomy at Florence, then, after some years of experimentation with his models, Professor Pacinotti published an illustrated description of his dynamo in the Il Nuovo Cimento in 1864, but this received little attention at the time. The machine described by the young Italian embodied for the first time the ring armature with its symmetrically grouped coils closed upon themselves and connected to the bars of a commutator, the brushes of which delivered practically non-fluctuating current. The idea of the invention, as expressed by Professor Pacinotti in its publication, was : "Let us suppose there is wound upon one ring of iron a copper wire covered with silk, and that, when the first layer has been completed, instead of continuing the coil by winding over that already wound, the metallic wire is closed on itself by soldering together the two ends which are near one another; we shall thus have covered over the ring of iron with a spiral, closed and insulated, having its turns wound always in one direction. Now, if we put into communication with the two poles of the battery two points of the metallic wire of this coil sufficiently distant from one another, the current will divide itself into two parts and will traverse the coil, in one part and in the other, between the two points of communication; and the directions which they take are such that the iron will become magnetized, presenting its two poles at the two points where the junctions of the current are. The straight line which joins these poles may be called the magnetic axis ; and we shall be able, by changing the points of communication with the battery, to cause this axis to assume any position whatever transversely to the figure or circle of iron of the electromagnet." [Translated in English by S. P. Thomson in 1912]. For this reason Professor Pacinotti called his instrument a transverse electromagnet.

In 1864, he received the professorship of applied physics at Bologna and in 1873 was appointed professor of physics at Cagliari. At the Vienna exposition in 1873 he exhibited his dynamo model made in 1860, and for the first time received wide credit. A medal of progress was granted Professor Pacinotti at Vienna, and other medals of honor were given him in 1881 at Paris. At the time of his death he was professor at the technological physics at the University of Pisa and senator of the kingdom of Italy.

Since Professor Antonio Pacinotti did not patent his invention, about 10 years later a similar machine was reinvented and patented by Zenobe Gramme on enlarged scale.

The Pacinotti's invention radically changed electricity from a curiosity into a profitable, reliable technology. In fact, until the mid-1800s, the unique source of electric energy was the Volta's battery. Unfortunately this kind of electric source was not reliable or cost effective for any regular electrical use. The combination between the dynamo and the invention of the electric light bulbs, available by 1879, allowed the "electricity revolution" both in social and industrial environments. DC generators were installed at the Pearl Street station facilities in New York City, one of the earliest commercial power generating plants, mainly used for electric lighting. In the same years, DC motors were introduced in some manufacturing industries to substitute the single huge steam engine, so far used to drive all the belts machines running at the same speed. This fact contributed to barely increase the productivity of the factories and most importantly to improve working conditions and safety for the workers.

Re: Re: I concur -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 13:51, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

So again, why is 1863 being used in the Milestone title and citation, and not 1860?

- Professor Pacinotti started the investigation about his invention in summer 1858, writing some notes on a little notebook (available at the Antonio Pacinotti's archives in Pisa). - He started first successfully experiments on a preliminary prototype of the machine on January 10, 1859 (as recorded in his notebook); - In the months between April and July 1859, he served as a volunteer soldier in the second Italian war of independence. Although involved in some battle, during this period Antonio Pacinotti was working around his invention; - In April 1860 he developed a new prototype of the machine, starting new experimental tests in the laboratory (as recorded in his notebook); - Finally, in 1863 he wrote a manuscript with the details of the invention and its operation principles. This work was reproduced in the Nuovo Cimento, issue of the June 1864 (available from May 3, 1865);

Re: Re: Re: I concur -- Jason.k.hui (talk) 16:46, 8 March 2018 (UTC)

Would it be possible to include a range of years? 1860 seems to stand out and should not be excluded from the citation.

Re: Re: Re: Re: I concur -- Sbarmada (talk) 11:59, 9 March 2018 (UTC)

If a range of dates is admitted we don't have anything against it.