Frederick Hale Holmes

Frederick Hale Holmes (born 1812) was a professor of Chemistry at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art[1] and pioneer of electric lighting.[2]

The generator from Souter Lighthouse at Science Museum in London, built by Frederick Hale Holmes.


In 1853 he demonstrated the ability of electro-magnetic generators to provide continuous current to power arc lighting and in 1856 patented a magneto to power an arc light for lighthouses which he demonstrated to Michael Faraday at Blackwall in 1857.[3][4]

His experiments with alternating current arc lighting at South Foreland Lighthouse in 1857-60[5] were the subject of a lecture by Michael Faraday at the Royal Institution.[6] One of Holmes' generators built in 1867 and used at Souter Lighthouse is displayed at the Science Museum, London.[7]


  1. ^ "Royal Panopticon of Science and Art, Leicester Square". Exeter and Plymouth Gazette. 3 September 1853. p. 2.
  2. ^ "Literary Gazette". 23 July 1853. p. 733.
  3. ^ "Lighthouse Illumination by Magneto-Electricity". The Dublin Builder. 15 August 1864. p. 14.
  4. ^ Cleveland & Morris (15 November 2013). Handbook of Energy: Chronologies, Top Ten Lists, and Word Clouds, Volume 2. Elsevier. p. 175.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Lighthouse Illumination by Magneto-Electricity". The Dublin Builder. August 15, 1864. p. 14.
  6. ^ "Magneto-Electric Light For Lighthouses". Newcastle Courant. March 30, 1860. p. 3.
  7. ^ "Holmes's electricity generator, 1867". Retrieved 23 April 2015.