Sebastian Ziani De Ferranti life and biography

Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti picture, image, poster

Sebastian Ziani De Ferranti biography

Date of birth : 1864-04-09
Date of death : 1930-01-13
Birthplace : Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Nationality : English
Category : Arhitecture and Engineering
Last modified : 2011-10-04
Credited as : electrical engineer, inventor, arc light for street lighting

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Sebastian Pietro Innocenzo Adhemar Ziani de Ferranti was an electrical engineer and inventor.

Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti was born in Liverpool, England. His Italian father, Cesare, was a photographer and his mother Juliana Scott Ferranti (née Scott) was a concert pianist. He was educated at Hampstead School, London; St. Augustine's College, Westgate on Sea; and University College London.

He married Gertrude Ruth Ince on April 24, 1888 and they had seven children together. Ferranti died on January 13, 1930 in Zurich, Switzerland. He was buried in the same grave as his parents and his daughter Yolanda at Hampstead Cemetery, London.

His grandson, Basil de Ferranti, was a Conservative politician who represented Morecambe and Lunesdale in the late fifties and early sixties.

Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti began manufacturing dynamos of his own design when he was 16, and the company he established to manage sales of his dynamos grew to be a major supplier of electricity and electric power grid systems. At 22 he became chief engineer for the London Electric Supply Corporation, for whom he oversaw construction of the Deptford Power Station, London's first major power-generation plant. In designing urban electrical systems, Ferranti advocated for the construction of large AC (alternating current) power-generating stations outside major cities. The company he established, Ferranti Ltd, planned and built much of England's national grid, and later became famous for its early computers, including the Ferranti Mark I, introduced as the first commercially built general-use computer in 1951.

He held almost 200 patents, and discovered the Ferranti effect, a rise in voltage at the end of a long transmission line. He also theorized that weather could be controlled by the judicious application of electricity, and sketched diagrams of complex devices far beyond the technological abilities of his time, often adding doodles of elves and fairies peering from behind his conceived devices. Ferranti died in 1930, and Ferranti Ltd ceased operations in 1993. His grandfather, Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti (1801-78) was a composer and classical guitarist who toured Europe and America in the mid-19th century. His grandson, Basil Reginald Vincent Ziani de Ferranti (1930-1988) was a member of the House of Commons from 1959 to 1964.

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