In 1802, Thomas Davenport, inventor of the first commercial electric motor, was born.
While experimenting in 1834, Thomas Davenport developed what is known today as the DC motor. It took him three years to patent his motor. At first, the U.S. Patent Office denied his application since no one had ever been granted a patent for an electric device before. When his application was eventually accepted, a fire at the patent office destroyed it. He eventually received the patent in 1837.
Learn more at http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/museum/davenportmotor.html