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Michael Faraday. Born: Newington Butts, Borough of Southwark, South London, 1791. One of the most famous scientists of modern times. Often referred to as being the man who ‘invented’ electricity, Faraday was the first person to discover electromagnetic induction in 1831, the principle behind the electric transformer and generator. He is also famous enough to appear on the back of British £20 notes. Other famous London scientists: Sir William Crookes, Brian Pippard.