Electrical Generator Teaching Model


Accession Number: 2009.ph.58


A rotating assembly consisting of wound wire is mounted on a horizontal steel shaft. The wire is insulated and wrapped lengthways along the shaft, creating a roughly cylindrical section. Additional sections of coiled wire are wrapped around this, perhaps to hold it in place. Mostly this wire is brown, but parts of it are painted white.

A U-shaped magnet, mounted horizontally, surrounds the coil. Between the magnet and rotating wire cylinder there are additional metal pieces which are cut in a concave shape to skim the surface of the rotating coil.These elements are mounted by iron brackets on a varnished wooden board. Two additional brackets attach to the rotating shaft via flexible metal strips that contact the metal shaft on the top and underneath of the same section; these have left contact marks where they have rubbed against the metal of the shaft.

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials:

Wood, Metal: Iron Alloy, Metal: Copper Alloy.


On a post-it note taped to the wooden base of the instrument is the instrument’s 1978 catalogue number: “PHY149”

Dimensions (cm): Height = 12.5, Width = 20, Length = 44,


This model was used to demonstrate the functioning of an electrical generator.


Good: There is some oxidization and paint chipping on metal parts; the top of the metal sections at the ends of the horseshoe magnet are rusted on the top.The wooden mounting board appears to have been repurposed as there are a number of screw holes in it that do not correspond to parts of the instrument.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Unknown (Locally Made?)

Date of Manufacture: Early 20th Century


University of Toronto Department of Physics

Historical Notes: