Polydoor Lippens was born on March 16, 1810 in Eeklo, Belgium. He graduated as an engineer after studying in Brussels and Paris. In 1850 he invented the vibrating mechanism for the electric bell, the vibrator. The patent for this was challenged by several other inventors, but eventually it was awarded to Lippens in Paris in 1858.
From 1850 to 1866 he worked for the Belgian Railways and at that time he filed nine patents associated with improvements in telegraphy. Later he became the physics teacher of the children of King Leopold I. He returned to his hometown Eeklo in 1863. In 1869 he became a knight in the Leopolds Order.