22 December-Nicholas Callan

Nicholas Callan was a priest and physicist who was a native of Co Louth, Ireland. In 1836 he invented the first induction coil. At the time he was professor of Natural Philosophy (Physics) in Maynooth College, Co Kildare. In 1838 he developed an electric motor which Siemens in Germany used as a basis for the production of a generator in 1886. Callan also built new batteries which later went into commercial production in London.

Nicholas Joseph Callan was born Darver near Ardee, Co Louth in 1799. He was educated locally and began training for the priesthood at Navan Seminary. He later trained at Maynooth College (Royal College of St. Patrick) and was ordained in 1823. Callan then moved to Rome where he learned of the work of Alessandro Volta. He studied at Sapienza University where he was awarded a doctorate in divinity. In 1826 Callan returned to Ireland and was appointed Professor of Natural Philosophy at Maynooth.

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan, one of the pioneers in the development of electricity during the 19th century was born in the year 1799 On This Day.


Rev Nicholas Callan



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