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Once a month I eat dinner and chat with about 10 computer and mechanically inclined men (not many wives are interested). Often it is show and tell time when someone brings something interesting.
For the April session Marc Verdiell brought a plug in lamp and this "Mendocino Motor" he had built. This is a flash (stop motion) picture showing details - discussed lower down
Oddly, Wikipedia does not have a good description of the "Mendocino Motor".
Here are two useful links:
Being lazy, and having some palsy, I ordered one from China, via Amazon, $45.99 ;-)) postage paid.
As folks mention, a rather strong light, close by, is required. This one is rotating at about five revolutions per second.
A note: It is well to remember that these machines are designed to work best when the light comes from the side. Light coming from the top confuses the commutation. Light coming from both sides nullifies eachother.