Farmer, Moses Gerrish, 1820–93, American inventor, b. Boscawen, N.H. He helped build and maintain some of the pioneer telegraph lines of Massachusetts and experimented in multiple telegraphy. He exhibited (1847) an electric train that carried children, invented a process for electroplating aluminum, and installed (1851) in Boston the first electric fire-alarm service in any city. His later years were spent chiefly in developing the incandescent electric light. Twenty years before Edison's success he produced (1858–59) electric lamps, and in 1868, with a dynamo of his own invention, he illuminated a house in Cambridge, Mass., but was never able to perfect a marketable light.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.