The inventor of the battery driven electric motor, Thomas Davenport, passed away on this day in 1851 at the age of 48. Davenport was the first person to develop such a motor, which he did in 1834, and after fine tuning received a patent for his invention in 1837, US Patent No. 132. Davenport’s invention paved the way for electric street cars. With his first motor he demonstrated the possibility by using it to operate a small model street car on a short section of track.
In 1840 he would use his invention to print The Electro-Magnetic and Mechanics Intelligencer – the first newspaper printed using electricity. Davenport’s invention was key in developing many early electrically powered vehicles. Early electric cars were highly efficient, but the oil industry is said to have squashed their development for many, many years.