Static electricity experiment, 1746

Static electricity experiment, 1746

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Credit: CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Static electricity experiment. 18th-century artwork of the 'electric boy' experiment carried out at lectures by French clergyman and physicist Jean-Antoine Nollet (left, 1700-1770). The boy, hanging from insulating silk threads, is given an electric charge using an electrical machine. The static electricity generated causes items (lower centre) to be attracted to him. At right, a young woman is reaching out to touch the boy, which is causing sparks to pass between them. This artwork is a frontispiece illustration to Nollet's 'Essai sur l'electricite des corps' (Essay on the Electricity of Bodies, Paris, 1746).

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