The accompanying portrait of M. Gustave Trouvé is taken from a small volume devoted to an account of his labors recently published by M. Georges Dary. M. Trouvé, who may be said to have had no ancestors from an electric point of view, was born in 1839 in the little village of Haye-Descartes. He was sent by his parents to the College of Chinon, whence he entered the École des Arts et Metiers, and afterward went to Paris to work in the shop of a clock-maker. This was an excellent apprenticeship for our future electrician, since it is in small works that electricity excels; and, if its domain is to be increased, it is only on condition that the electric mechanician shall never lose sight of the fact that he should be a clock-maker, and that his fingers, to use M. Dumas's apt words, should possess at once the strength of those of the Titans and the delicacy of those of fairies. It was not long ere Trouvé set up a shop of his own, whither inventors flocked in crowds; and the work he did for these soon gave up to him the secrets of the art of creating.
The first applications that he attempted related to the use of electricity in surgery, a wonderfully fecund branch, but one whose importance was scarcely suspected, notwithstanding the results already obtained through the application of the insufflation pile to galvano-cautery. What the surgeon needed was to see plainly into the cavities of the human body. Trouvé found a means of lighting these up with lamps whose illuminating power was fitted for that sort of exploration. This new mode of illumination having been adopted, it was but natural that it should afterward find an application in dangerous mines, powder mills, and for a host of different purposes. But the perfection of this sort of instruments was the wound explorer, by the aid of which a great surgeon sounded the wounds that Italian balls had made in Garibaldi's foot.
The misfortunes of France afterward directed Trouvé's attention to military electricity, and led him to devise a perfect system of portable telegraphy, in which his hermetic pile lends itself perfectly to all maneuvers and withstands all sorts of moving about.
The small volume of which we have spoken is devoted more particularly to electric navigation, for which M. Trouvé specially designed the motor of his invention, and by the aid of which he performed numerous experiments on the ocean, on the Seine at Paris, and before Rouen and at Troyes. In this latter case M. Trouvé gained a medal of honor on the occasion of a regatta. Our engraving represents him competing with the rowers of whom he kept ahead with so distinguished success. We could not undertake to enumerate all the inventions which we owe to M. Trouvé; but we cannot, however, omit mention of the pendulum escapement that beats the second or half second without any variation in the length of the balance; of the electric gyroscope constructed at the request of M. Louis Foucault; of the electro-medical pocket-case; of the apparatus for determining the most advantageous inclination to give a helix; of the electric bit for stopping unruly horses; and of the universal caustic-holder. He has given the electric polyscope features such that every cavity in the human body may be explored by its aid.
As for his electric motor, he has given that a form that makes the rotation regular and suppresses dead-centers--a result that he has obtained by utilizing the eccentrization of the Siemens bobbin.
Although devoting himself mainly to improving his motor (which, by the way, he has applied to the tricycle), M. Trouvé does not disdain telephony, but has introduced into the manufacture of magnets for the purpose many valuable improvements.--Electricité.
TROUVE'S ELECTRIC BOAT COMPETING IN THE REGATTA AT TROYES, AUG. 6, 1882.