Franklin's Electrostatic Battery

Franklin's Electrostatic Battery

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Franklin was the first to group a series of Leyden jars together. In 1749 he coined the word ÒbatteryÓ to describe such an assembly of cells. He used a battery like this (illustrated in his memoirs) for a set of his experiments. It consisted of an interconnected series of glass cells coated on the inside and the outside with lead, (forming what is now called a capacitor). When these are connected to an electrostatic generator the charge is stored in the cells. In the foreground is a conductor connected, through the bottom of the wooden box holding the cells, to their outer surface. A hand can be seen holding a curved metal rod, which is used to complete the circuit. The resultant charge is measured by the scale on the pith ball electroscope at the top of the picture. The cells can be interconnected in any number and combination desired

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Keywords: benjamin franklin, capacitor, electrical experiments, electrostatic battery, electrostatic generator, first electrostatic battery, franklin, franklinõs battery, franklinõs electrostatic battery, history of science, leyden jars, technology

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