Gustaf Dalén - Inventor of Automatic Regulators, Facts and Childhood

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Gustaf Dalén's Personal Details

Gustaf Dalén was a Swedish Nobel Laureate who invented automatic regulators, AGA cooker and the Dalén light

InformationDetail
BirthdayNovember 30, 1869
Died onDecember 9, 1937
NationalitySwedish
FamousAga Cookers, Dalen Light, Inventor of Automatic Regulators, Swedish Men, Mechanical Engineers, Inventors & Discoverers
SpousesElma Persson
Known asNils Gustaf Dalén
Discoveries / Inventions
  • Automatic Regulators
  • AGA Cooker And The Dalén Light
Birth PlaceStenstorp, Västergötland, Sweden
GenderMale
FatherAnders Johannson
MotherLovisa Andersdotter Dalén
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inStenstorp, Västergötland, Sweden
Famous asInventor of Automatic Regulators, AGA Cookers, Dalen Light
Died at Age68

// Famous Aga Cookers

Gustaf Dalén's photo

Who is Gustaf Dalén?

Gustaf Dalén was a Swedish Nobel Laureate who invented automatic regulators, AGA cooker and the Dalén light, among others. An engineer cum industrialist, he was also the founder of the AGA company, an industrial gas company that was later integrated into Linde AG. Best remembered as the inventor of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys, he became known as "the benefactor of sailors." He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1912 for this work. Born as the son of a farmer, he joined a School of Agriculture to study dairy farming as a young man. He invented a milk-fat tester to measure the quality of the milk which he showed to the prominent inventor Gustaf de Laval who advised Dalén to pursue a career in engineering. He thus proceeded to study engineering at the Chalmers University of Technology, and later at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He made many inventions over the course of his engineering career and performed vital work while engaged with the Gas Accumulator Company, which marketed acetylene gas. At that period, there was a growing need for maritime communication facilities and his invention of what came to be known as the Dalén light revolutionized maritime navigation by improving the effectiveness of lighthouses.

// Famous Inventor of Automatic Regulators

Childhood & Early Life

Nils Gustaf Dalén was born on 30 November 1869, in Stenstorp, Västergötland, Sweden into a farming family as one of the five children of Anders Johannson and his wife, Lovisa Andersdotter Dalén. All of the children adopted their mother's maiden name.

He displayed an aptitude for inventing from a young age. As a young boy, he developed an automatic threshing machine powered by an old spinning wheel.

After his preliminary education, he entered a School of Agriculture to study dairy farming. During this time he also worked on the family farm which he expanded to include a market garden and a dairy.

He invented a milk-fat tester to measure the quality of milk in 1892. He showed this invention to the prominent inventor Gustaf de Laval who recognized the young man’s potential and advised him to pursue a career in engineering.

After selling his farm, Dalén enrolled at the Chalmer's Institute of Technology in Göteborg and graduated as an engineer in 1896. Following this he spent a year in Zurich, Switzerland, studying at the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

Career

He returned to Sweden on the completion of his studies and worked at the de Laval Steam Turbine Company in Stockholm for a short period of time. There he helped develop hot air turbines, compressors, and air pumps.

He collaborated with a former classmate Henrik Celsning to form a partnership in 1900. Through this firm the duo marketed their inventions, one of the major ones being the creation of the Brilliant gasworks, which they sold to the town of Ängelholm.

In 1901, he was appointed as the Technical Chief of the Svenska Karbid- och Acetylen A.B. (Swedish Carbide and Acetylene, Ltd.). A few years later, he accepted the position of Chief Engineer at the Gas Accumulator Company (manufacturer and distributor of acetylene) in 1906.

In 1909, the company was renamed Svenska Aktiebolaget Gasaccumulator (AGA) and Dalén was promoted to the position of Managing Director. During this period, Sweden was experiencing an increasing need for better maritime communication methods. The lighthouse technologies available at that time were not up to the mark and Dalén began his work on developing automatic flashing beacons for lighthouses.

Over the course of his work, he experimented with acetylene, an extremely explosive hydrocarbon gas that could be used as a fuel in lighthouse illuminations. Using this new fuel, he developed the Dalén light which also made use of another one of his inventions, the sun valve. On the basis of his works, AGA started producing lighthouse equipment that worked without any type of electric supply and was thus extremely reliable.

In 1922, he patented his invention, the AGA cooker, which he had developed with the help of his wife and family over the past few years. The cookers were first imported to Britain in 1929 where they enjoyed great popularity. A highly prolific inventor, Dalén received over 100 patents during his lifetime.

Major Works

Gustaf Dalén revolutionized maritime navigation with his contributions to lighthouse technology. His inventions, the sun valve and the Dalén light, enabled the production of highly efficient and reliable lighthouse equipment that worked without any type of electric supply.

Awards & Achievements

Gustaf Dalén was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1912 "for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys".

He was made a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in 1913, and the Academy of Science and Engineering in 1919. He also received the Morehead Medal of the International Acetylene Association.

Personal Life & Legacy

Gustaf Dalén married his childhood sweetheart, Elma Persson, in 1901. They had four children, two daughters and two sons.

He was blinded in an acetylene explosion during an experiment in 1912. However, he did not let his disability interfere with his scientific pursuits and remained active in research till the end of his life.

He suffered from cancer towards the end of his life and died on 9 December 1937, at the age of 68.

// Famous Dalen Light

Gustaf Dalén awards

YearNameAward

Other

Nobel Prize in Physics (1912)

Gustaf Dalén biography timelines

  • // 30th Nov 1869
    Nils Gustaf Dalén was born on 30 November 1869, in Stenstorp, Västergötland, Sweden into a farming family as one of the five children of Anders Johannson and his wife, Lovisa Andersdotter Dalén. All of the children adopted their mother's maiden name.
  • // 1892
    He invented a milk-fat tester to measure the quality of milk in 1892. He showed this invention to the prominent inventor Gustaf de Laval who recognized the young man’s potential and advised him to pursue a career in engineering.
  • // 1896
    After selling his farm, Dalén enrolled at the Chalmer's Institute of Technology in Göteborg and graduated as an engineer in 1896. Following this he spent a year in Zurich, Switzerland, studying at the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
  • // 1900
    He collaborated with a former classmate Henrik Celsning to form a partnership in 1900. Through this firm the duo marketed their inventions, one of the major ones being the creation of the Brilliant gasworks, which they sold to the town of Ängelholm.
  • // 1901 To 1906
    In 1901, he was appointed as the Technical Chief of the Svenska Karbid- och Acetylen A.B. (Swedish Carbide and Acetylene, Ltd.). A few years later, he accepted the position of Chief Engineer at the Gas Accumulator Company (manufacturer and distributor of acetylene) in 1906.
  • // 1901
    Gustaf Dalén married his childhood sweetheart, Elma Persson, in 1901. They had four children, two daughters and two sons.
  • // 1909
    In 1909, the company was renamed Svenska Aktiebolaget Gasaccumulator (AGA) and Dalén was promoted to the position of Managing Director. During this period, Sweden was experiencing an increasing need for better maritime communication methods. The lighthouse technologies available at that time were not up to the mark and Dalén began his work on developing automatic flashing beacons for lighthouses.
  • // 1912
    Gustaf Dalén was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1912 "for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys".
  • // 1912
    He was blinded in an acetylene explosion during an experiment in 1912. However, he did not let his disability interfere with his scientific pursuits and remained active in research till the end of his life.
  • // 1913 To 1919
    He was made a member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences in 1913, and the Academy of Science and Engineering in 1919. He also received the Morehead Medal of the International Acetylene Association.
  • // 1922 To 1929
    In 1922, he patented his invention, the AGA cooker, which he had developed with the help of his wife and family over the past few years. The cookers were first imported to Britain in 1929 where they enjoyed great popularity. A highly prolific inventor, Dalén received over 100 patents during his lifetime.
  • // 9th Dec 1937
    He suffered from cancer towards the end of his life and died on 9 December 1937, at the age of 68.

// Famous Swedish Men

Gustaf Dalén's FAQ

  • What is Gustaf Dalén birthday?

    Gustaf Dalén was born at 1869-11-30

  • When was Gustaf Dalén died?

    Gustaf Dalén was died at 1937-12-09

  • Where was Gustaf Dalén died?

    Gustaf Dalén was died in Lidingö, Sweden

  • Which age was Gustaf Dalén died?

    Gustaf Dalén was died at age 68

  • Where is Gustaf Dalén's birth place?

    Gustaf Dalén was born in Stenstorp, Västergötland, Sweden

  • What is Gustaf Dalén nationalities?

    Gustaf Dalén's nationalities is Swedish

  • Who is Gustaf Dalén spouses?

    Gustaf Dalén's spouses is Elma Persson

  • What is Gustaf Dalén's inventions/discoveries?

    Automatic Regulators, AGA Cooker And The Dalén Light was invented (or discovered) by Gustaf Dalén

  • Who is Gustaf Dalén's father?

    Gustaf Dalén's father is Anders Johannson

  • Who is Gustaf Dalén's mother?

    Gustaf Dalén's mother is Lovisa Andersdotter Dalén

  • What is Gustaf Dalén's sun sign?

    Gustaf Dalén is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Gustaf Dalén?

    Gustaf Dalén is famouse as Inventor of Automatic Regulators, AGA Cookers, Dalen Light