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Mercury Arc Rectifier

Period:
20th Century
Description:

What strange contraption is this?  Looking like something from Frankensteins Lab, a Mercury Arc Rectifier like this one would have used ionized mercury vapour to transmit electrical charges.

 

Due to their reliability they were rapidly developed across Europe in the 30's as the most widely used method of providing direct current from the AC mains for both household and industrial purposes.

 

They were made redundant by more modern methods of producing electrical current such as semi-conductor diodes.





 

Materials/Media:
glass, metal
Source:
The Dick Institute
Accession number:
kimmg:1988/26/14
Digital Number:
EAMA028n
Copyright:
East Ayrshire Council