Static electricity demonstration, 1746

Static electricity demonstration, 1746

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Static electricity demonstration. Historical illustration of one of the first demonstrations of static electricity passing between humans. A boy is suspended by silk ropes and an electrostatic charge applied to his body by a rotating generator (right). He holds hands with a girl at left, and the charge is passed to her by induction. Small pieces of gold foil on the table at far left are attracted to the girl's hand. This 1746 demonstration uses a machine designed by German mathematician Christian August Hausen (1693-1743). Artwork from 'Electricite' (1911) by Max de Nansouty, part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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