The story of the metal detector begins with the California Gold Rush. Between 1848 and 1855, prospectors traveled by land and sea to reach the place where they heard they could find gold. Entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to help these people in their quest by creating a device that would detect metal underneath the ground.

The Assassination of President James Garfield

On July 2, 1881, Charles J. Guiteau shot President James Garfield at a railroad station. The bullet was so well-hidden that his doctors couldn't find it, so Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, designed a device that could detect the presence of metal. This machine was known as an "induction-balance electrical device," and it worked very well. Unfortunately, President Garfield was lying on a bed that contained metal springs. These springs confused the machine so much it was impossible to differentiate between them and the bullet. President Garfield died two months later of infection.


World Wars I and II

Bell's machine failed to help President Garfield, but it did prove its worthiness, so inventors sought to improve upon the original technology. Subsequent metal detectors were based on the earlier model, and they came in handy after World War I when countries needed to clear their lands of mines following the end of hostilities. A Polish lieutenant created a more advanced version of the metal detector during World War II that cleared the grounds of land mines all over Europe.

Airplane Hijackings

Everyone is aware of the presence of metal detectors in American airports, but they weren't always there. After airplane hijackings rose in frequency, airport personnel began using them to detect the presence of guns, knives and other weapons beginning in 1972. The Finns were the ones to adapt metal detectors used for de-mining into the large contraptions we are familiar with today.

Modern Metal Detectors

Metal detector technology is so advanced that some of these machines no longer resemble the bulky gadgets that were used to search for gold in the mid-1800s. They are so tiny that small battery packs can operate them. Some metal detectors are computerized and can be set to the specifications of the user.

Common Uses of Metal Detectors

Metal detectors have many uses in the United States today. Several enterprises employ them to detect metal in their products, including the packaging, lumber, chemical, plastic, garment, textile, and food and beverage industries. Archaeologists also make regular use of metal detectors when they excavate historical sites. Whether you need a metal detector to search for your fortune or to detect dangerous metals in foods, the top metal detectors are highly accessible and affordable.

The Best Metal Detectors

Top Ten Reviews researched 10 different metal detectors in order to find the number one device in its class. Of the ten best metal detectors they examined, they found that the Treasure Commander TC1X by Kellyco Metal Detectors is at the top of the list.

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