Camille Alphonse Faure (1840 – 1898)

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Camille Alphonse Faure was born at Vizille, in south-eastern  France, in 1840. In his thirties, he worked in Kent, England, for an armament factory.

Nothing really important happened until his forties (there is hope for us all!).

In 1880-1881, Faure significantly improved on the Lead Acid battery, which was first designed 15 years earlier by Gaston Plante. His innovation was in coating the lead plates with a mix of lead sulphates, which increased the battery’s capacity significantly. The innovation made the Lead Acid battery marketable for electric vehicles, communication, and lighting. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Top 5 interesting facts about Faure (and his battery):

1. In 1881, when Faure was applying to patent his first significant innovation of the Lead Acid battery, the American inventor and entrepreneur Charles F. Brush was applying for the same patent!

2. The first electric vehicle, powered by Faure’s battery, was a tricycle.

3. In 1897, a year before he died, Faure applied for a patent for a steering wheel for a car. Here is what one of his diagrams looked like:

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4. In 1886, Faure’s battery was used to power the first submarine!

5. Faure’s battery is the reason Paris is called “the city of lights,” since the battery was used to light up a Paris street electrically for the first time in human history!

It seems that the most interesting thing about Faure’s life was his battery….  But what a battery!


Related Articles:

Lead Acid Batteries

History of electric vehicles

Nikola Tesla

Thomas Edison



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