Pavel Nikolayevich Yablochkov (Павел Николаевич Яблочков in Russian) (September 14/September 2 (O. S.), 1847 – March 31/March 19 (O.S.) 1894 ) was a Russian electrical engineer, the inventor of the Yablochkov candle (a type of electric carbon arc lamp) and businessman.
In 1866, he graduated from Nikolayevsky Engineering Institute as a military engineer, and then in 1869, from Technical Galvanic School in Petersburg. After serving in the army, Yablochkov retired to Moscow in 1873, where he was appointed Head of Telegraph Office at the Moscow-Kursk railroad. He opened up a workshop for his experiments in electrical engineering, which laid down the foundations for his future inventions in the field of electric lighting, electric machines, galvanic cells and accumulators.
1875 saw one of Yablochkov’s major inventions called "electric candle" — the first model of an arc lamp without a regulator. He went to Paris the same year where he built an industrial sample of an electric bulb (French patent № 112024, 1876). He also developed and introduced the system of electric lighting on a single-phase alternating current (“Russian light”), which was demonstrated at the World exhibition in Paris in 1878 and was extremely successful. Some French, English, and American businessmen even set up companies at home for its commercial exploitation.
In 1879, Yablochkov established “Electric Lighting Company, P.N. Yablochkov the Inventor and Co” and an electrical plant in Petersburg that would later produce illuminators for military vessels and factories.
From the mid-1880s, Yablochkov mostly occupied himself with problems of generating electric energy. He constructed the so called “magnet dynamo electric machine”, which had most of the features of the modern inductor. Yablochkov did extensive research on transformation of fuel energy into electric energy, suggested a galvanic cell with alkaline electrolyte, and created a regenerative cell (the so called autoaccumulator).
Yablochkov participated in Electrical engineering exhibitions in Russia (1880 and 1882), Paris (1881 and 1889), and First International Congress of Electricians (1881). In 1947, the USSR introduced the Yablochkov Award for the best work in the field of electrical engineering.
A crater on the Moon is named after him.