Gramme, Zénobe-Théophile (zānôbˈ tāôfēlˈ gräm) [key], 1826–1901, Belgian electrical engineer. While working as a model maker for a Parisian manufacturer of electrical devices, Gramme became interested in improving them. He knew little of electrical theory, but he had seen the Italian physicist Antonio Pacinotti's direct-current dynamo, and in 1869 he built one of his own that proved practical in applications such as electric illumination. By reversing the principle of his dynamo, he invented the electric engine.
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