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The first known reference to magnetism dates back to the 4th century B.C.E. from a Chinese literary work called “Book of the Devil Valley Master.” In this book, it was written that “lodestone attracts iron to it.” Lodestone is a type of magnetite metal with a special crystalline structure that can naturally create a magnetic field, thereby attracting and magnetizing iron. By the 12th century A.D., Chinese sailors were using lodestone rocks as compasses for sea navigation.
Magnets have been used in Chinese medicine since about 2000 B.C.E.
Greeks, as well, began using magnets for healing around 2500 B.C.E. Aristotle and Plato frequently wrote of the benefits of lodestones in their works.
Scientific investigation of the properties of magnetism in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, including the discovery that the Earth itself exerted a magnetic force, had a significant effect on aspects of metaphysical imagery. The first recorded use of the word magnetic occurs in Donne's Anatomie of the World (1611)
Articles from the 1949 Audio Engineering magazine
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