ARMATURE (from Lat. armatura, armour), a covering for
defence. In zoology the word is used of the bony shell of the
armadillo. In architecture it is applied to the iron stays by
which the lead lights are secured in windows. (See Stanchion
and Saddle: Saddle-Bars.) In magnetism Dr William Gilbert
applied the term to the piece of soft iron with which he “armed”
or capped the lodestone in order to increase its power. It is also
used for the “keeper” or piece of iron which is placed across the
poles of a horse-shoe magnet, and held in place by magnetic
attraction, in order to complete the magnetic circuit and preserve
the magnetism of the steel; and hence, in dynamo-electric
machinery, for the portion which is attracted by the electromagnet,
as the moving part of an electric motor, or, by extension,
the moving part of a dynamo (q.v.).
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