1902: There’s no place like ohm

Before there was electronic ignition there were coils. Before coils there were magnetos. And before there magnetos there were…coils which trembled. And before tremblers there were hot tubes that combined with top-heavy bikes to make fires a daily hazard. Motor Cycling set out to introduce the first generation of motor cyclists to the intricacies of ignition systems. [Sorry about the ‘ohm’ pun, by the way, it’s 3.30am, I’m way past my best and I couldn’t resist it.

This isn’t any old wiring diagram, this is the first wiring diagram to be published in a motor cycle magazine. And yes, as indicated by the arrows (and as I vaguely recall from my Grade 6 General Science O-level) electrons actually move through from the negative terminal of a battery to the positive.

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