Biography of Marcel Deprez

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Marcel Deprez was born on December 12, 1843, in Aillant-sur-Milleron, Loiret, France. He was a pioneer in the transmission of electrical power over distance. At the Paris exhibition in 1881, attention shifted from the manufacture of the machines to ways of transporting electricity over long distances. Many investors were observing this new field closely.

The organizers had entrusted Marcel Deprez with the task of presenting a distribution system based on the long-distance transport of direct current. To avoid any disputes that might discourage investors, they had also succeeded in keeping away anyone proposing other solutions.

Those who had alternatives therefore left the exhibition, met together at an International congress of independent electricians, and subsequently monitored Deprez’ project, looking out for any weaknesses. Initially backed by the group of investors, Deprez conducted several experiments in La Chapelle, near Paris, then between Grenoble and Vizille (14 km) and, in 1885, between Paris and Creil (50 km).

Each time, the criticisms became more virulent, and Deprez had to strive to make alterations to his machines. But support for his project was waning and those excluded in 1881 were now successfully conducting experiments where Deprez had failed. However, Deprez’ experiments were vitally important for the later developments of the electrical power transmission.

One of the most commonly used galvanometers was the D’Arsonval-Deprez galvanometer. This galvanometer was proposed by d’Arsonval in collaboration with Deprez is also defined as a mobile bobbin galvanometer and differs from those with a mobile magnet in that it is based on the interaction between a fixed magnet and a mobile circuit followed by the current being measured.

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