How Metal Detectors Evolved Over the Years

Metal detectors have come a long way as they have been made with different materials to help improve their effectiveness.  Many people like the aspect of using them to find valuable items such as gold or buried treasure.  But, the magnetic fields associated with how they are used to detect dangerous materials are unique.  A number of career fields use them for more than just protection. They have helped develop, research, and change the way we look things around us.

How Metal Detectors Are Used

People may recognize metal detectors being used to help find metal objects in the ground.  One of the earlier uses included military defense and seeking land mines created by the enemy.  Archaeologists use them to help recovery human and/or animal remains.  Geophysicists use them to learn about scientific concepts about the earth.  Security personnel such as guards and deputies use them to detect items that may threaten the safety of the general public.

Historical Aspects about Metal Detectors

Alexander Graham Bell, the man many recognize as a contributing inventor of the telephone, helped recognize early elements of a basic metal detector.  In 1881, Bell tried to help save the life of former President James Garfield when he was shot.  Bell sought to find the bullet using s metal device to detect the metal in the bullet. It was unsuccessful because of the metal material in the bed the President was laying on, but this would be the beginning of an extraordinary find.

During the 1930’s related elements of metal, along with frequencies was explored and later perfected by Gerard Fisher.  He recognized how certain metals react to one another through a radio direction system or frequency device that helped detect metals through a special coil. He eventually got the first metal detector patent.

The Military Came Up with Multiple Uses for the Metal Detector

During World War II, a practical device was developed by a Polish lieutenant.  At this time the detector was a heavy object that had lots of tubes and ran on battery power.  It helped uncover numerous minefields German forces created.  For years, the metal detector and how it was used in the military was top secret information.  Once the secret was out, different companies went to work on developing their own designs for metal detector devices.

The German Connection

The induction balance system was created by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a German physicist.  The system was a key figure in the success of the metal detector and lead to its detailed creation.  The basic system includes using two coils that were balanced electrically, but would become unbalance when metal was introduced.  The frequency aspect was later introduced by Charles Garret.  This played a role in allowing companies to create metal detectors at different frequencies and sizes.  They were developed using smaller batteries because of Garret’s concept, and became more powerful.  Metal detectors continue to grow in demand with special high-tech features such as internal computer chips to collect and store data.