Eliot History                                            

                                Moses G. Farmer, Eliot's Inventor 

Few towns of the last century could claim as their own so prolific a genius as was Moses Gerrish Farmer, who like some other inventors, received little recognition for his contribution to the progress of mankind.

Born at Boscawen, New Hampshire on February 9, 1820, he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1840 and soon afterward taught at the Academy at Eliot, Maine, where he met and married Hannah Tobey Shapleigh, one of his students.

His interests developed broadly in the field of electricity, which opened the door to other areas and these, in turn, tapped his inventive mind without cessation. At age 26 he built an electric railroad and two years later improved the telegraph. At 30 he invented and constructed the fire alarm system with water powered dynamos, and within another five years he discovered the means of duplex and quadruplex telegraphy. He knew the art of depositing aluminum by electricity at 36. That same year he was invited to read a paper

At the age of 39 while living in Salem, Massachusetts, he lighted his parlor with incandescent lamps, the first house in the world to be lighted up by electricity. When only 44 he improved thermo-electric generators and at 46 he lighted a house in Cambridge with forty incandescent lamps in multiple circuit and all properly self-controlled. In his early years he worked on the subject of utilizing electricty for propelling vehicles and eventually constructed a train of two cars on one of which a motor, with the other car a passenger unit.

This invention was the beginning of the street car era and the experiment was shown at a meeting of noted engineers including the electrical wizard, Charles Steinmentz, assistant to Edison, at Greenacre Hotel in Eliot.

(The above chapter are from "A View Of Eliot's Past " by Edward H. Vetter, Eliot Maine)                            

Eliot History