The common way to supply electricity to the armature (the part that rotates) of the motor is through a series of carbon brushes that rub on a copper surface known as the commutator. These brushes started bouncing on the commutator, damaging the brushes and wires before a spring broke and started to damage the commutator. Thompson engineers secured and repaired the motor, fixing a problem that potentially could have sent the ship back into port for repairs. Image courtesy of UCSB, Univ. S. Carolina, NOAA, WHOI.

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