“Thomas Parker, sometimes described as the ‘Edison of Britain’, was a British engineer and electrical technologies inventor working in the 1800s who was also one of the world’s first environmentalists,” remembers Slashdot reader dryriver.
Parker had been troubled by the pollution in coal-burning cities around London — and decided to do something about it:
Parker was very adept both at inventing new things and at significantly improving technologies that others had invented before him. He improved everything from steam pumps, to electrical batteries, electric motors, alternators and dynamos, invented the award winning “Kyrle Grate,” which was designed to allow anthracite coal to be burned inside of it, and was responsible for the electrification of London’s “Underground” Subway system and tramways build in other British cities.
There has been attempts at electrical cars before Parker’s going back as far as the 1830s, but his was revolutionary in many aspects. The Elwell-Parker car was fitted with Parker’s high-capacity rechargeable batteries, and later vehicles had hydraulic brakes on all four wheels, as well as four-wheel steering. These features are even now being described as revolutionary.
While Parker’s electrical cars were quite popular in America and Britain for a number of years (read more here), soon improved gas- and diesel-based vehicles caused public interest in electric cars to wane. Parker’s company Elwell Parker, which survives to this day, then focused on making electrical speciality vehicles for factories and warehouses — electric carts for moving equipment and crates around, and precursors of modern forklifts, for example.
While everybody knows electrical inventors like Edison and Tesla today, Thomas Parker is barely known and barely remembered…
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
May 26, 2019 at 05:34PM http://bit.ly/2MaFpdT