Electric history

Hungarian Inventors and their Inventions
in the Field of Heavy-Current
Engineering

  in Hungarian

Ganz and Tungsram - the 20th century


The Ganz Works identified the significance of induction motor and commissioned Kálmán Kandó (1869-1931) to develop it. After construction of different types, Kálmán Kandó initiated the development of railway electric traction with induction motor of alternating current by the Ganz Works. The Ganz Works won the tender of electrification of railway of Valtellina Railways in 1897. Under the management and on the base of plans of Kálmán Kandó, three phase electric traction (two upper wires + rails) of feed 3 kV and 15 Hz - produced by a different power station - was realized for thirty years from 1902.

After the World War 1, in the frames of the Ganz Works, Kálmán Kandó constructed one-phase railway electric system of 16 kV and 50 Hz incipient all over the world. Its main attribute was the feed by normal network, so additional power station became unnecessary. Consequently, Hungarian electric traction could be formed according to the country's energy management. Kálmán Kandó adapted the speed-torque curve to electric traction through changing the phase number and pole number. Kálmán Kandó built phase shifter in the locomotives forming speed levels.

Because of early death of Kálmán Kandó, László Verebély continued the work for the Hungarian Railways (MÁV). Moreover, he managed the construction of a nationwide power station (Bánhida) supplying as the railways as Budapest with electric power by transmission line of 110 kV. He elaborated the first plans of the nationwide cooperation of electric energy. In the 1930s he organized the Department of Electric Stations and Railways of the BMGE, so he became a professor of a significant branch of heavy current engineering.

Tungsram - "Egyesült Izzó"

Significant inventions and technological developments were born in another necessary field of usage of the electric power, of lighting engineering. These developments are related to the factory "Egyesült Izzó", originally situated in Újpest. This factory is known abroad as Tungsram. Mostly between the two world wars, in the laboratories of the factory, researchers achieved significant results not related to power electronics.

Wolfram izzóSpreading of incandescent bulb was influenced by buying the patent of production of tungsten filament created by Sándor Just and Croatian Franjo Hanaman in 1906 by the factory. The factory started the production of the bulbs (see Picture 4). Later, the incandescent bulb improved by new patents was spread all over the world resulting the development of the Egyesült Izzó. (Edison's carbon filament bulb of 1880 did not become an essential lightening source because of its unfavorable technical characters.)

Kripton-xenon izzóThe Egyesült Izzó established a laboratory for researches in 1921. In the course of continuous development, Imre Bródy (1891-1944) invented the so-called krypton bulb. He used krypton-xenon filling of longer life and higher efficiency in bulb of optimized form (see Picture 5) instead of compound of argon and nitrogen. For production of this invention, cooperating with Mihály Polányi, he elaborated the technology of production of compound krypton-xenon from the air in 1934.

Lipót Aschner successful in business life was the general manager of the Egyesült Izzó in the 1930s. He had sense of recognizing the tendencies of development of physics.

At this time, Dénes Gábor (1900-1979) worked at the laboratories. Initially he was busy in oscillograph of cathode ray for observation of transient responses of high-tension transmission line in Germany. He developed a plasma lamp in 1933-34 that could not be produced. After, Dénes Gábor immigrated to the United Kingdom. Here he worked in the field of electron optics. So, he invented the hologram. Following invention of laser, he constructed the laser hologram. Acknowledging his professional and scientific activities - especially for construction of holography - he was honored with Nobel Prize in physics in 1971.

Lipót Aschner invited Zoltán Bay to head the research laboratories in 1935. Besides lightening engineering, the Egyesült Izzó was a leading factory of electronics and communications of that time. It also supported the researches of latest tendencies of physics.

Upon suggestion of Lipót Aschner, Zoltán Bay founded the first Department of Nuclear Physics of today's BMGE in 1942. He carried out researches in radar in the Egyesült Izzó. With his colleagues, he was the first who measured the distance of the Earth and Moon in 1946. In 1948, he had to leave Hungary and he continued his successful career in the USA. One of his successes is that the International Bureau of Weights and Measures accepted his definition of meter based on light velocity as etalon all over the world in 1983. continue