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John Ambrose Fleming

Born: 29-Nov-1849
Birthplace: Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Died: 19-Apr-1945
Location of death: Sidmouth, Devon, England
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Congregationalist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Engineer, Inventor

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Invented the vacuum tube

Sir Ambrose Fleming invented the vacuum tube, arranging electrodes in an evacuated glass envelope in such a manner that electricity could flow in only one direction. Fleming's invention was soon modified by Lee De Forest to create the audion valve, which not simply rectified but amplified AC current, and formed the basis for several generations of electronics development. Fleming also invented the cymometer (an instrument for measuring the frequency of electric waves), and designed the transmitter that Guglielmo Marconi used to make the first transatlantic radio transmission. He studied electricity and magnetism under James Clerk Maxwell, worked as an electrician for Thomas Edison, and became one of his era's foremost authorities on electric-wave telegraphy, photometry (measurement of the intensity of light), transformer theory, and electric measurements. After he was knighted, the devoutly Christian Fleming wrote a book and numerous tracts attempting to debunk Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Father: James Fleming (Congregational minister, b. 1816, d. 1879)
Wife: Clara Ripley Fleming (d. 1917, no children)
Wife: Olive Franks Fleming (m. 1933, no children)f

    High School: University College School, London, England (1866)
    University: BS, University College London (1870)
    Teacher: Rossall School, Fleetwood, England (1870-77)
    University: Chemistry, Imperial College London
    University: ScD, Cambridge University (1877)
    Teacher: Electrical Engineering, University College London (1884-85)
    University: Electrical Engineering, University College London (1885-1926)

    Hughes Medal 1910
    Knight of the British Empire 1929
    Benjamin Franklin Medal 1935 (by the Franklin Institute)
    Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Electrical Engineer (1899-1906)
    Edison Electric Light Company Electrician (1881-91)
    Scottish Ancestry (paternal)

Author of books:
Short Lectures to Electrical Artisans (1886)
The Alternate Current Transformer (1889)
Magnets and Electric Currents: An Elementary Treatise for the Use of Electrical Artisans and Science Teachers (1898)
The Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy (1906)
An Elementary Manual of Radiotelegraphy and Radiotelephony for Students and Operators (1906)
Propagation of Electric Currents in Telephone & Telegraph Conductors (1911)
The Wonders of Wireless Telegraphy Explained in Simple Terms for the Non-Technical Reader (1913)
The Wireless Telegraphist's Pocket Book of Notes, FormulŠ, and Calculations (1915)
The Thermionic Valve and Its Developments in Radio-Telegraphy and Telephony (1919)
Fifty Years of Electricity: The Memories of An Electrical Engineer (1921, memoir)
Mercury-Arc Rectifiers and Mercury-Vapour Lamps (1925)
Evolution or Creation? (1933)
Memoirs of a Scientific Life (1934, memoir)
Physics for Engineers (1941)
Mechanics for Engineers (1944)

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