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A motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most electric motors operate through interacting magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force, although electrostatic motors use electrostatic forces. The reverse process, producing electrical energy from mechanical energy, is done by generators such as an alternator or a dynamo. Many types of electric motors can be run as generators, and vice versa. For example a starter/generator for a gas turbine, or traction motors used on vehicles, often perform both tasks. Electric motors and generators are commonly referred to as electric machines. A motor shaft is a power transmission system used extensively during the Industrial Revolution. Prior to the widespread use of electric motors small enough to be connected directly to each piece of machinery, line shafting was used to distribute power from a large central power source to machinery throughout an industrial complex. The central power source could be a water wheel or turbine, animal power, a stationary steam engine, a steam traction engine, a portable engine, or, in later years, a single large electric motor. Power was distributed from the shaft to the machinery by a system of belts,and pulleys.