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Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti

AKA Sebastian Pietro Innocenzo Adhemar Ziani de Ferranti

Born: 9-Apr-1864
Birthplace: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Died: 13-Jan-1930
Location of death: Zurich, Switzerland
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Remains: Buried, Hampstead Cemetery, London, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business, Engineer, Inventor

Nationality: England
Executive summary: England's electrical grid

Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti began manufacturing dynamos of his own design when he was 16, and the company he established to manage sales of his dynamos grew to be a major supplier of electricity and electric power grid systems. At 22 he became chief engineer for the London Electric Supply Corporation, for whom he oversaw construction of the Deptford Power Station, London's first major power-generation plant. In designing urban electrical systems, Ferranti advocated for the construction of large AC (alternating current) power-generating stations outside major cities. The company he established, Ferranti Ltd, planned and built much of England's national grid, and later became famous for its early computers, including the Ferranti Mark I, introduced as the first commercially built general-use computer in 1951.

He held almost 200 patents, and discovered the Ferranti effect, a rise in voltage at the end of a long transmission line. He also theorized that weather could be controlled by the judicious application of electricity, and sketched diagrams of complex devices far beyond the technological abilities of his time, often adding doodles of elves and fairies peering from behind his conceived devices. Ferranti died in 1930, and Ferranti Ltd ceased operations in 1993. His grandfather, Marco Aurelio Zani de Ferranti (1801-78) was a composer and classical guitarist who toured Europe and America in the mid-19th century. His grandson, Basil Reginald Vincent Ziani de Ferranti (1930-1988) was a member of the House of Commons from 1959 to 1964.

Father: Cesar Ferranti (photographer)
Mother: Juliana Scott Ferranti (pianist)
Wife: Gertrude Ruth Ince Ferranti (m. 24-Apr-1888, seven children)
Son: Vincent Ziani de Ferranti (Ferranti executive, b. 16-Feb-1893, d. 20-May-1980)
Daughter: Yolanda Julia Ferranti

    High School: St. Augustine's College, Ramsgate, England
    University: University College London

    Faraday Medal 1924
    Ferranti Ltd. Founder & President (1882-30)
    London Electric Supply Corporation Chief Engineer (1886-1905)
    Institution of Engineering and Technology President (Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1910-11)
    Royal Society 1927
    English Ancestry
    Italian Ancestry


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