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On August 29, 1831 English scientist Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) published his paper describing the first functional transformer, a device capable of transferring energy by means of electrical induction.  Although American scientist and first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) also described a transformer in 1831, Faraday published first and has been credited with the discovery.  The word transformer however did not appear in English in this meaning for another 50 years, in 1883, from the French word transformateur of 1882.  Both ultimately owe their origin to the word transform, from the Latin word transformare meaning to change the shape or form of, a combination of trans- meaning across and formare meaning to form. Today transformers are found on every street corner, and in electrical devices from hydroelectric dams that are miles across to microscopic transformers in cell phones and toys.

On August 29, 1831 English scientist Michael Faraday (22 September 1791 – 25 August 1867) published his paper describing the first functional transformer, a device capable of transferring energy by means of electrical induction.  Although American scientist and first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Joseph Henry (December 17, 1797 – May 13, 1878) also described a transformer in 1831, Faraday published first and has been credited with the discovery.  The word transformer however did not appear in English in this meaning for another 50 years, in 1883, from the French word transformateur of 1882.  Both ultimately owe their origin to the word transform, from the Latin word transformare meaning to change the shape or form of, a combination of trans- meaning across and formare meaning to form. Today transformers are found on every street corner, and in electrical devices from hydroelectric dams that are miles across to microscopic transformers in cell phones and toys.

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