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When the First Industrial Metal Detector Was Invented

Towards the end of the 19th century, many scientists and engineers used their growing knowledge of electrical theory in an attempt to devise a machine which would pinpoint metal. The use of such a device to find ore-bearing rocks would give a huge advantage to any miner who employed it. Early machines were crude, used a lot of battery power, and worked only to a very limited degree. In 1874, Parisian inventor Gustave Trouvé developed a hand-held device for locating and extracting metal objects such as bullets from human patients. Inspired by Trouvé, Alexander Graham Bell developed a similar device to attempt to locate a bullet lodged in the chest of American President James Garfield in 1881; the Metal Detector worked correctly but the attempt was unsuccessful because the metal coil spring bed Garfield was lying on confused the detector.

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