For last week's #FolkloreThursday [Thursday 12th September 2019] I tweeted about mining in honour of my Great-Grandfather, which got me thinking about mining/safety tech, which got me thinking about Gustave Trouve.
Gustave Pierre Trouve (2nd Jan 1839 - 27th Jul 1902) was a French engineer and inventor who learned maths, physics and chemistry for fun and created wearable tech for the lols.
He also invented a long list of domestic, safety and medical tech that is now commonplace...
If you had/ve family down the pit, you can thank Trouve for electric miners' lamps, though his head-worn version was originally invented for an ENT doc. He adapted the design to a handheld inspection light too.
Worse still, Trouve invented the original versions of pretty much every torture device now know to medical science: if a doctor has put it in you, up you or down you, Trouve thought of it first and made at least a prototype.
At his death he was working on an ultraviolet light treatment for skin conditions.
FYI: He died of septicaemia from a cut while working on the device, which is both ironic and a lesson to all makers to have a good med kit handy.
Trouve also created military tech like a portable telegraph system and an early metal detector for finding stray shells.
For the individual there were rifle-mounted lights for night time hunting, electric lances for stunning prey and a toy spring-loaded harpoon gun.
He improved all sorts of inventions: Bell's telephone, Siemens motors and various battery tech. He was no slouch at inventing his own batteries either.
There was the first electric bike and outboard motor; prototype engine for submarines; ornithopter and model helicopter.
But that's not the half of it...
In his downtime[*], Trouve created his "electro-mobile jewellery" and stage/costume lighting systems that any theatre would be proud of, most using his own miniaturised battery technology. Button batteries? Pah!
[*] How did he have any?
Pour Monsieur: canes and pocketwatches that light your way; canes with windmill or rabbit atop; or perhaps a skull tie pin now worth $8000? (Sold at Bonhams in 2016.)
Au bureau: electric slide projector for your desk.
Keen balloonist? You'll need the oxygen spacesuit.
Pour Madame: hairpins, tiaras and more illuminated with crystals in different colours and decorated with birds and butterflies.
Les Enfants: an electric skipping rope.
Dans le maison: illuminated flower arrangements and multicoloured fountains for the showier sort.
How about lightsaber effects in a sword fight? Literally flashing blades!
Fifty Amazons with lit spears, shields and headdress?
Or a shining chariot straight from Neptune's realm?
And, of course, electric chandeliers decorated with dancers.
So there you have it: Gustave Trouve inventor and/or improver of everything we think we invented and/or improved 100+ years later.
Last thing: Trouve's brand name was Eureka. Which translates to French as J'ai Trouve.