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Grand Hall of the University of Porto - Portrait Gallery

Adriano de Paiva Brandão (Count of Campo Belo)
Doctor of Philosophy, teacher and a pioneer in electrical telescopy

Portrait by Alberto Nunes
Retrato de Adriano de Paiva Brandão, Conde de Campo Belo, pintado por Alberto Nunes / Portrait of Adriano de Paiva Brandão, Conde de Campo Belo, painted by Alberto Nunes

Biography of Adriano de Paiva Brandão (Count of Campo Belo, 1847 - 1907)

Adriano de Paiva de Faria Leite Brandão was born in S. Tiago da Cividade, Braga, on 22 April 1847. He was the second son of João de Paiva da Costa Leite Brandão, a nobleman of the royal household, from Braga, and of Miquelina Emília Ribeiro de Faria, born in Porto.

At the age of 14, he enrolled in the faculties of Mathematics and Philosophy of the University of Coimbra, and completed his studies successfully 5 years later. He presented the Inaugural Dissertation at the Faculty of Philosophy entitled "The Current Causes Explain the Different Geological Times” in 1868. He completed his PhD in Philosophy and was awarded the title in that same year.

After the presentation of the work entitled "Explanation of the Main Fundamentals of Thermodynamics" in 1872 as part of the public exams, he was admitted as a teacher at the Polytechnic Academy of Porto. He was appointed temporary substitute teacher for two years of the 7th, 8th and 9th chairs, by decree of 14 January and royal writ of 6 March 1873, taking up office on 20 January of that year. He was promoted to permanent substitute teacher by decree of 11 February 1875 and royal writ of 3 June of that same year, and took up office on 20 February. By decree of 18 August 1876 and royal writ of 29 November, he was promoted to teacher of the 9th chair, taking up office on 25 August. He was appointed professor of this chair by decree of 16 March 1884, and took up office on 19 March. In 1885, be taught the 6th chair, appointed by decree of 23 October. In the academic years 1898-1899 and 1899-1900, he was also interim director of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto.

Adriano de Paiva Brandão was a member of the Institute of Coimbra, corresponding partner of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Lisbon (elected in 1881), founding member of the Société Internationale des Eléctriciens de Paris and honorary president of this Society in Portugal. He was the president of the Tobacco Production Committee and of the General Company of Agriculture and Upper Douro Vineyards. As a young nobleman of the royal household (1880), he received the title of Count of Campo Belo on 10 February 1887. He represented Porto between 1887 and 1890 as elective peer in the High Chamber and was part of the Public Education committee.

Adriano de Paiva Brandão was married to Gertrudes Emília Leite Pereira do Outeiro de Melo e Alvim de Noronha e Távora e Cernache, lady of the majorat of Campo Belo, in Vila Nova de Gaia. They had two children - Maria Luísa and Diogo.
He died in Vila Nova de Gaia in March 1907.

The Count of Campo Belo became known in scientific circles for his thoughts on telescopy as a new use of electricity (1878). He explored this theme in "La Télescopie Électrique Basée sur l'emploi du Selenium", in 1880, referring to an "electrical telescopy to transmit images ". This work had a significant impact in the world and inspired pioneering works in the field of television. It was read and discussed in the 1920s in Italy, when Mussolini’s regime became interested in the theme of television. He was also the author of "These Ex Naturali Philosophia" (1868).

Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2012. Scientific Review by Jorge Fernandes Alves (FLUP)

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