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Faraday, Michael (1791-1867): Diploma and Certificates

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0117 MS/241
Held at: Royal Society
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Full title: Faraday, Michael (1791-1867): Diploma and Certificates
Date(s): [c1791-1867]
Level of description: Sub-fonds
Extent: 1 volume
Name of creator(s): Faraday | Michael | 1791-1867 | chemist and natural philosopher
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Faraday was born the son of a blacksmith in Newington Butts, Southwark. It is not known where he was educated as a child, but the family moved north near Manchester Square. At 13, he worked as a newspaper boy for George Riebau of Blandford Street. He then became an apprentice for seven years in bookbinding under Riebau. In 1810 and 1811, he attended lectures on science given by silversmith John Tatum (1772-1858) in the city of London and took notes. These were shown to the son of a Member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (RI) who in turn showed them to the Member who was so impressed he gave Faraday tickets to see Humphry Davy (1778-1829) lecture at the RI in 1812. After writing to Davy to ask for a job, he was appointed as a chemical assistant at the laboratory at the RI in 1813. In 1813 he travelled with Davy to France as an assistant, secretary and valet; subsequently visiting laboratories in Italy, Switzerland and Germany until April 1815. In 1816 he began his `Commonplace Book' and was elected Member of the City Philosophical Society from 1816 to 1819 giving lectures on chemical subjects. From 1816 to 1828, he published his work results in journals such as Quarterly Journal of Science, Philosophical Magazine and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. In 1821 he was appointed Superintendent of the RI to maintain the building. In 1825 he was appointed Director of the Laboratory and in 1833 he became Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the RI. In 1821 he discovered electro-magnetic rotations, the principle of the electric motor. In 1831 he discovered electro-magnetic induction; also in the early 1830s, he discovered the laws of electrolysis and coined words such as electrode, cathode, anode and ion. In 1845 he discovered the magneto-optical effect and diamagnetism developing the theory of the electromagnetic field. In 1824 he was elected to the Royal Society. He gave lectures at the RI between 1825 and 1862, establishing the Friday Evening Discourses and the Christmas Lectures for the young. In 1827 he delivered a course of lectures on chemical manipulation to the London Institution and he also gave lectures for medical students from St George's Hospital from the mid 1820s onwards. In 1829 he was appointed Scientific Adviser to the Admiralty. In 1830 he was Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich until 1851. In 1836 he was appointed Scientific Adviser to the Corporation of Trinity House, the English and Welsh lighthouse authority, until 1865. During the 1850s and 1860s, he introduced electricity to lighthouses under this position. In 1844 he conducted an enquiry with the geologist Charles Lyell (1797-1875), into the Haswell Colliery, County Durham, explosion.


Scope and content/abstract:

Diploma and Certificates given to Michael Faraday by various academies and societies with table of contents written in his own hand by Michael Faraday.

Access & Use

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Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to Archivist in the first instance.

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Archival Information

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Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

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Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Copied from the Royal Society catalogue by Sarah Drewery.

Rules or conventions:
General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Feb 2009.

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