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John Gott

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John Gott (1840-1914)


1914 Obituary [1]

JOHN GOTT, who died at Brighton on the 8th March, 1914, was one of the pioneers in submarine cable engineering.

He was born at Kendal, Westmoreland, in 1840, and entered the telegraph service early in life.

His first employment was with the Electric and International Telegraph Company.

In 1863 he went to Tripoli where he was employed in the operation of the first Mediterranean cable, later going to Malta on this same work.

In 1864 he was selected to accompany the steamship Great Eastern as one of the electrical staff when that vessel made her first attempt to lay a transatlantic cable.

In 1869 he accepted the position of Superintendent and Electrician at St. Pierre, Miquelon, when the cable of the first French Atlantic Cable Company was laid.

In 1870 he transmitted wireless signals through a distance of about three miles at St. Pierre, Miquelon, using the earth as a conductor. In the same year he invented his fault-searcher coil.

In 1881 he introduced a modification of Lord Kelvin's formula for testing measurements of the electrostatic capacity of condensers and cables ; this is now used as a standard test and is known as "Gott's capacity test."

In 1884, upon his retirement from the French Cable Company's service, he became Chief Electrician to the Commercial Cable Company, a position which he held until his death.

In 1892 he devised the "Gott ratio arm," which made it possible to avoid the necessity for temperature corrections for the resistance of Wheatstone bridge coils by introducing coils of manganin for one of the ratio arms, and also made it possible to obtain measurements in modern units by means of a bridge wound to discarded standards. Of greatest importance, however, was his recent invention, whereby he made it possible to communicate from the Pacific coast of the United States and Canada direct to Europe without the aid of human retransmission at intermediate station, cables and land lines being linked up and the ordinary Morse method of operation employed. He also latterly invented a new and improved system of quadruplex working.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution in 1873, and a Member in 1877.


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