Davenport, Thomas – Scientist & Inventor


The Thomas Davenport mug is part of a biographical series profiling unique individuals and includes an image of Thomas Davenport and a short biography.

Small Mug, 11 oz.

Large Mug, 15 oz.


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Thomas Davenport was born in Williamstown, Vermont.  He was a blacksmith’s apprentice who became curious about electromagnets that were being used in Crown Point to refine iron ore.  He set up a blacksmith shop in Brandon, Vermont.  Working with his friend Orange Smalley, Davenport constructed an electromagnet using coiled wires with a commutator and brush system that created a full rotation and which would spin continually using a primitive battery.  By 1834, he had built what would be recognized today as an electric motor, and in 1837 received the first U.S. patent # 132 for an electric motor.  Davenport made several machines using his electric motor, but was never able to create an important company and could never sell or license this patent.

The Davenport Motor, Davenport Day, September 28, 1910

In the late 1890s and early 1900s, the significance of the electric motor was finally understood and appreciated.  In recognition of the achievements of Thomas Davenport, the Vermont Electrical Association and the National Electric Light Association observed Davenport Day in conjunction with the Vermont Historical Association.

This Thomas Davenport History Mug is part of our Science & Inventors series which includes many unique individuals who shaped our world through their actions.

The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history.  The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton.  He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone.  The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.

  • Mugs are food and microwave safe.
  • To preserve photographic quality we recommend hand washing.
  • Mugs are usually shipped within 3-5 days.

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