Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum

induction coil icon

Induction Coil

Central Scientific Company

HSU Chemistry Department, 1960

catalog scan icon


Used as a demonstration tool in physics and chemistry and as an arc source for demonstrations etc. According to Wikipedia,

"An induction coil or "spark coil" (archaically known as an inductorium or Ruhmkorff coil after Heinrich Ruhmkorff) is a type of disruptive discharge coil. It is a type of electrical transformer used to produce high-voltage pulses from a low-voltage direct current (DC) supply. To create the flux changes necessary to induce voltage in the secondary, the direct current in the primary is repeatedly interrupted by a vibrating mechanical contact called an interrupter. Developed beginning in 1836 by Nicholas Callan and others, the induction coil was the first type of transformer. They were widely used in x-ray machines and spark-gap radio transmitters from the 1880s to the 1920s. Today their only use is as the ignition coils in internal combustion engines, and in physics education to demonstrate induction." ("Induction Coil", Wikipedia;; downloaded 6/28/2012)


The induction coil case has a 14" x 7" base, the wood case is 6 1/2" high. The instrument is as described in the catalog scan available above from Cenco, Cat J-300, General Catalog Laboratory Apparatus & Scientific Instruments, Chicago. (1960?) 968 pp.

 HSTC icon
HSTC (1921-34)
HSC 54-73 icon
HSC (1954-1973)
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HSC (1935-1953)

HSC 1956-72 Instrument Collection

© R. Paselk
Last modified 28 June 2012